The Power of Local Clean Energy Alliance in 2022 

The Local Clean Energy Alliance (LCEA) team was very busy throughout last year fighting the bad, and advancing the good that is centered in energy equity and the needs of people. We were part of a fierce fight to defend local solar incentives in California, holding East Bay Community Energy accountable to the community they serve, fighting for an equitable path to home electrification, and working with young people to foster the next generation of energy democracy warriors. We need you; your action and your support to meet our fundraising goals to continue this fight.

Now is a great time to make a donation to the Local Clean Energy Alliance to keep us recharged and powered in 2023! Read all about our great work in 2022 (below) and make a donation today!
Click here to DONATE. Or you can mail a check payable to the Local Clean Energy Alliance:
Local Clean Energy Alliance ℅ Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs
23564 Calabasas Road, Suite 201, Calabasas, CA 91302

LCEA in Action - 
Accomplishments in 2022

Local & Regional Efforts

East Bay Community Energy 
LCEA's East Bay and Equity Team, along with East Bay Clean Power Alliance and allies, continued to hold East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) accountable to the community it serves. In 2022, our biggest win was preventing EBCE from giving away $15 million of EBCE ratepayer funds to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. EBCE’s plan was to establish an asthma research program at an Oakland children’s hospital. It might sound good at first, but in fact it was a misuse of ratepayer funds, not in the scope of what a Community Choice energy agency should do and contrary to EBCE’s mission.  

We were joined by many community allies to advocate that the funds should be spent on community energy needs by addressing the root causes of asthma by subsidizing building electrification for low income and BIPOC communities. In opposition to the proposed gift to the hospital, we generated over 1200 letters to EBCE board members and 15 organizational sign-ons from various CBO’s, including the state’s largest environmental justice network, California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), and the California Nurses Association. The opposition that the LCEA rallied, including several community speakers at the June 2022 budget meeting, resulted in the Board postponing the gift item from the budget. EBCE Staff eventually altered the “gift” proposal to the Alliance's vision, providing free building electrification measures for asthma sufferers in low income BIPOC communities.

LCEA succeeded in our year-long advocacy with the EBCE Board to reinstate a program of Community Innovation Grants, at their June, 2022 budget meeting. The Board approved a total of $3 million over 3 years for this program that supports energy related projects by community-based organizations. The team also succeeded in getting Board approval for an increase in the Local Development budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 to over $21 million from last year’s $8.5 million.

Building Decarbonization and Electrification

California Equitable Home Electrification Project (CEHEP) & City of Hayward
LCEA was invited to participate in CEHEP program by Rocky Mountain Institute and Emerald Cities Collaborative, partnering with staff from the City of Hayward to gain knowledge and exchange information toward developing an equitable Building Electrification plan for the City of Hayward.

As a continuation of the collaborative work with the City of Hayward through CEHEP, we were given a small grant to produce English and Spanish building electrification materials.

City of Richmond
LCEA was invited to provide technical support to local advocates to help City Councilman Eduardo Martinez (now Mayor of Richmond) understand the nuances and equity concerns in regards to existing building electrification.  The City Councilman and local advocates adopted equity concerns in lieu of rushing for electrification of existing building stock.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)
In collaboration with the Bay Area Chapter of the Sierra Club, East Bay Equity Team contributed comments and suggestions to BAAQMD on their proposed No NOx (nitrous oxides) Appliance rule. Our comments pointed to the need for the rule to address potential harm to low income BIPOC communities, because of the cost to buy and run all electric appliances that could require costly upgrades to electric panels. When the electricity goes out, all electric homes also leave customers without the means to cook or heat water and homes if without backup power (such as from battery storage and onsite clean generation sources). 

Youth Leadership Development and Program for a Resilience Hub with a Microgrid in East Oakland
The New Voices Are Rising: school year interns and summer externs
LCEA  has been working with a low income and BIPOC youth group, called New Voices Are Rising, since 2017 to educate them about the energy system.  In 2022, LCEA staff hosted interns from New Voices are Rising to create educational material for workshops on energy resiliency hubs with microgrids, building electrification and overall energy resilience. Youth from New Voices Are Rising also did advocacy work with EBCE Local Development Programs and the CPUC against various rate hikes by PG&E .

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity youth externship “Energy Specialist”
LCEA  hosted a Rising Sun Center for Opportunity youth to work with staff and youth. The youth also presented a webinar highlighting the goals of the Energy Democracy Project’s REFOCUS campaign, to understand and support the struggle for a decentralized energy system in Puerto Rico and beyond.
The Rising Sun Intern worked closely with LCEA Organizers in designing and creating educational materials; a glossary and factsheet about healthy and resilient buildings and electrification for the City of Hayward.

East Oakland Resilience Collaboration with Rose Foundation, New Voices Are Rising, Castlemont High School, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) and Lion Creek Crossings
Hosted workshops for youth on resilience hubs with microgrids and building electrification for Castlemont High School 11th graders.
Hosted workshops for the EBALDC youth program.
Provided New Voices Are Rising youth foundational workshops and support for leading this collaborative effort.

Statewide Efforts

Building Energy Equity and Power (BEEP)
The East Bay and Equity Team is collaborating with a statewide organization of representatives from environmental justice organizations throughout California developing principles of equitable Building Electrification. So far that collaboration has produced 4 listening sessions for frontline community organizations and their members, held in 3 different regions of California to discuss the benefits and potential threats of building electrification. These listening sessions resulted in a significant report on potential benefits, threats and ways to alleviate threats to BIPOC communities in building electrification policies. The report was part of a Building Decarbonization Coalition report to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and was discussed with CARB Board Members and members of the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee to the CARB. Discussions with the California Green New Deal Coalition are currently underway to determine aspects of the BEEP report that will be included in its recommendations to the California Legislature.

California Air Resources Board (CARB)
As mentioned above, LCEA organizers have been part of a group reporting to CARB on BEEP findings on potential threats in Building Electrification and ways to neutralize those threats. LCEA signed onto a Environmental Justice Letter of Recommendations on the 2022 Scoping Plan developed by CARB.

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
LCEA joined efforts by the Solar Rights Alliance and other allied organizations to try and prevent the CPUC from passing their proposed Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 policy that threatens to be disastrous for the future of rooftop solar in California, especially for BIPOC and other low income people and communities most harmed by the current centralized energy system and corporate utilities.

East Bay and Equity Team’s lead organizer helped organize and turn out supporters for rallies against the CPUC’s proposal. She represented LCEA by speaking at several rallies at the CPUC and at the State Capitol and coordinated op-eds and a press conference with the Mayor of Huron, California, Rey León and Dave Rosenfeld of the Solar Rights Alliance. LCEA activated organizational and individual allies to key meetings and Action Network petitions.

National Efforts

Energy Democracy National Project
As an Anchor Organization of the National Energy Democracy Project (EDProject), LCEA participated in planning and launching the Reimagined Energy for Our Communities, U.S. (REFOCUS) Campaign.  REFOCUS is a call to action from Alaska to Puerto Rico, standing in solidarity with frontline communities who are leading the transition to energy justice by advancing reimagined energy systems.

LCEA’s Representative to the EDProject, Jessica Tovar, supported allies in producing model language for legislation to address Utility Debt and power shut offs as a result of the Utility Debt Jubilee working group. In addition we have been interviewing various leaders addressing utility debt issues across the nation to learn more about what works and what challenges we seek to solve.

Click here to DONATE
Or you can mail a check payable to the Local Clean Energy Alliance:
Local Clean Energy Alliance ℅ Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs
23564 Calabasas Road, Suite 201, Calabasas, CA 91302