Can’t afford energy efficiency improvements? This new fund could help
Making communities healthier and more resilient to climate change can seem expensive. A new fund in the First State aims to pay some of the cost.
Energize Delaware launched the new Energy Equity fund as an extension of a grant program for Delmarva Power customers created as part of the company’s merger settlement with Exelon.
The new fund will offer grants that could serve all low and moderate-income Delawareans, not just Delmarva customers, and could extend further into the future. It’s housed at the Delaware Community Foundation.
The fund’s grant manager, Jim Purcell, says the money will go to projects such as developing a sustainable energy workforce, helping neighborhoods set up community solar, and making homes safer and more energy efficient.
“If we can control the environmental situations within people’s homes—the thermal, the issues with mold and mildew and other things as it relates to ventilation systems, we have an opportunity to impact the health of people as well,” he said.
The grants will not go directly to property owners, but to nonprofits and for-profit companies to implement the projects.
“Instead of helping people pay for their utility bills when they get so expensive they may not be able to pay for them, [this money will] actually go in and make the changes that need to be made for them to be proactive, … be more resilient,” Purcell said.
Energize Delaware seeded the fund with $1 million and is looking for additional donations from the private sector, foundations and individuals.