The Empowerment Grant Program administered by Energize Delaware recently awarded $4 million in energy efficiency grants for underserved communities in each of Delaware’s three counties. One of the largest grants supports a manufactured housing skirting program operated by Sussex County Habitat for Humanity.
Empowerment grant funding was made possible by the merger between Exelon Power and Delmarva Power in Delaware, and authorized by the Delaware Public Service Commission. Jim Purcell, Empowerment Grant manager, highlighted how the grants not only provide energy cost savings for program participants, but also reduce the carbon footprint in area communities.
The Empowerment Grant renewed funding to Applied Energy Group to continue low- to moderate-income HVAC rebates for rental properties. AEG’s extension of the inaugural effort expands the rebate program to more low- to moderate-income properties. Milford Housing Development Corporation, AEG’s partner, enrolled Savannah West Apartments and Milton Landing in the Delmarva Power territory. The grant extension features free in-unit, direct installation of LED lights and low-flow devices to increase energy efficiency and cost savings at all participating properties. All five enrolled properties serve tenants at or below 60 percent of average area monthly income.
“This Delaware Empowerment Grant pilot is modeled after the best national energy efficiency programs for LMI rental properties,” said Bahareh van Boekhold, AEG program manager. “We worked with our partners to offer low-cost energy efficiency upgrades directly benefiting tenants. All 232 units in five participating properties will receive a free assessment and direct-install measures. This work will result in renter utility bills savings of estimated $59-$177 per year.”
Efficient Home LLC, a trusted LMI auditor and direct install expert, is the subcontractor for delivering the audit and free direct install measures. The Empowerment Grant allowed the piloting of a national best practice offering in Delaware.
For more information about the Energy Equity Fund and Empowerment Grant Program, go to energyequityfund.org.