Energy Programs for Residents
To view progress and data on the energy programs for residents below, please visit www.transparentrichmond.org/stories/s/Sustainability-and-Health-Equity/.
- Free Solar Program
- CARE and FERA
- MCE Low-income families and tenants (lift)
- Weatherization Program
- PG&E Energy Savings Assistance Program
- Green House Call
- BayREN Home+
- Bay Area SunShares
- HERO and California First
Free Solar for Qualifying Richmond Homes
The City of Richmond and GRID Alternatives are excited to provide free solar systems to income-qualifying homes in Richmond and North Richmond. To date, the partnership has serviced over 470 homes in Richmond and provided millions of dollars in energy cost savings to the community. This new initiative will provide more than $2.5 million in energy cost savings for families and prevent more than 5,700 tons of greenhouse gases over the systems' lifetimes. It will also provide more than 15,000 hours of job skill-building in solar installation for community volunteers and job trainees.
To qualify, Richmond and North Richmond residents who own and live in their own home and make less than 80% of area median income may be considered to receive solar through GRID Alternatives. For example, a four-person household in Richmond with an income of $69,375 or lower would be income-qualified. An eight-person Richmond household earning $116,575 or less would be income-qualified. Each additional person would cost an additional $11,000 after that.
For more information about eligibility, homeowners should contact GRID Alternatives by phone
(866) 921-4696 or (510) 775-9162, email (email@example.com) or complete an online form at https://www.energyforallprogram.org/richmond/. Residents may also contact the City at (510) 620-6512.
The program is funded through the State, City of Richmond, MCE, donations, and Federal Tax Credits.
Apply for a Monthly Discount through PG&E's California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program or Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA)
CARE and FERA are PG&E discount programs that help eligible customers pay their energy bills. Over 1.4 million customers are receiving a bill discount through these two programs. Simply complete the online CARE/FERA enrollment form and PG&E will let you know if you’re eligible.
- California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE). A monthly discount of 20% or more on gas and electricity. Participants qualify through income guidelines or if enrolled in certain public assistance programs.
- Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA). A monthly discount of 18% on electricity only. Must be a household with three or more people. Participants qualify through income guidelines.
Find out if you’re eligible
Review the guidelines to see if you qualify.
- CARE - Discount on gas and electric rates
- FERA - Discount on electric rates only for households of 3 or more people
You may also qualify for CARE based on participation in certain public assistance programs. See the list of qualifying programs.
FERA eligibility is based on household size and income only. Review full program guidelines.
It takes only a few minutes to fill out the application. No proof of income is necessary and your answers are confidential. For the quickest turnaround time, use PG&E's online application (available in multiple languages; Spanish, Chinese, & Vietnamese).
CARE/FERA 2022-2023 Income Guidelines
*Before taxes based on current income sources. Table data applies to residential, single-family customers. Income Guidelines are valid through 05/31/23.
MCE Pilot Program for Low-Income Families and Tenants
Through the LIFT pilot program, MCE aims to expand the reach of their carbon-reducing energy programs to low-income customers so they can benefit even more from lower bills and improved quality of life. Everyone has the right to affordable, clean, renewable energy service and programs, and MCE and the City of Richmond will continue to work to ensure that income level will not be a barrier to access. This program layers an extra $1,200 per unit on the Multifamily Energy Savings Program rebate for energy and water savings measures for income-qualified properties. $1,200 per unit is available to fund energy efficiency improvements and appliances in 1,400 multifamily units for items such as pipe insulation, more efficient lighting, Energy Star refrigerators, and air conditioners.
The LIFT program builds upon the success of MCE’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency program, which has already distributed $433,424 in rebates for 1,785 units in affordable properties. In 2017, MCE committed another $107,240 in rebates for affordable properties. Property owners that utilize both the LIFT program and MCE’s existing Multifamily Energy Savings program can have up to 80 percent of the total project costs covered through the combined rebates.
To participate in the program, residents are required to be at or below the 200 percent Federal Poverty Guidelines. This income qualification was determined by the California State Legislature and is the same as CARE eligibility requirements, allowing CARE customers, who receive a minimum 20 percent discount on gas and electric rates, to automatically qualify for LIFT.
The Weatherization Program (WP)
A Federal and State funded program whose purpose is to assist low and/or fixed income residents in making their homes more energy efficient and save money on their energy bills. The program is available to Contra Costa homeowners and renters regardless of whether you live in a home, apartment, or a mobile home.
Contact Contra County Conservation and Development Department at (925)-674-7214 or visit their website at www.cccounty.us/weatherization.
PG&E Energy Savings Assistance Program
This program provides income qualified homeowners and renters living in a house, mobile home or apartment with no cost energy saving improvements. Residents will receive a free home assessment to determine if your home qualifies for the program and, if so, the improvements to be made.
For more information or to apply, call PG&E at (800) 989-9744 or visit their website at pge.com/energysavings.
Program Income Guidelines
The Following are the income limits effective July 1, 2022 to May 30, 2023:
Rising Sun Center for Opportunity- No Cost Green House Call
For seven weeks each summer, Rising Sun employs youth age 15 to 22 and trains them to serve communities across the Bay Area with free 'green house calls'. At each green house call they check the home for efficiency, install free energy and water-saving equipment, and provide personalized recommendations for further savings. The program is free and no income qualification required. Only available for those living in single family homes and 2-4 plexes.
Due to Covid-19, Green House Calls are contact-free with an option to opt into in-person service.
To receive a Green House Call, fill out this survey or call (510) 665-1501 ext 300. Visit their FAQs for details regarding in-person and remote service availability.
For more information visit, www.risingsunopp.org/programs/ghc/
When you take part in an in-person or virtual Green House Call, you'll receive the following energy- and water-efficient equipment at absolutely no cost:
- Up to 16 LED light bulbs, standard and floodlight
- High-efficiency bathroom and kitchen faucet aerators and high-efficiency showerhead(s) (same pressure, less water)
- A smart power strip ($70 value)
- A toilet leak detection test
- Information about other energy-saving programs
Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN)- Home+ Upgrade Incentive
Now homeowners in Richmond can choose a whole-house workout that will tone up your home's energy efficiency. You'll reduce energy use, increase comfort, and add value to your home -plus get cash incentives and rebate!
BayREN Home+ Energy Upgrade helps single-family homeowners identify ways to strengthen their home’s energy efficiency. Homeowners learn how heating, air conditioning, insulation, water, and other home systems are working together and which improvements will most effectively improve the home’s comfort and reduce energy consumption. Rebates and incentives are available for home improvements that include air sealing, duct sealing, attic insulation, high-efficiency furnaces, cooling systems, water systems, wall insulation, and more.
Bay Area SunShares
Richmond residents are encouraged to participate in SunShares, a limited time, group buying energy procurement program that provides discounts on residential solar and electric vehicles. The program's sign-up window is from September to November.
The Bay Area SunShares program is led by the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) aimed at leveraging group buying power to provide discounts and competitive financing options on solar installations and zero-emissions vehicles. Discounts and pricing options are listed on the Bay Area SunShares website. All Bay Area residents are eligible.
Registration re-opened on September 1, 2022. Visit the SunShares website to find an informational workshop near you, https://www.bayareasunshares.org/events .
HERO and CaliforniaFIRST - Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs
Richmond homeowners are eligible to participate in two Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs: HERO and CaliforniaFIRST. PACE financing enables homeowners to make energy- and water-efficiency improvements and pay for them through their property tax bill. Property owners repay the assessment over 5 to 20 years and the interest is tax-deductible. Homeowners can use PACE financing to renovate projects that can increase their property values, lower their monthly utility bills, and contribute to making our community more energy independent.
For more information on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs, please visit https://renewfinancial.com/californiafirst-pace-financing-california.