California — Sunrun announced a partnership with GRID Alternatives, a national non-profit leader in making renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities, that will provide 100% free battery systems to low-income customers in wildfire-prone regions.
The batteries will be funded through California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) Equity Resiliency Budget, enabling Sunrun and GRID Alternatives to provide batteries at zero cost to the homeowners who receive them. GRID Alternatives will continue to work with community-based organizations and be responsible for outreach to potential customers.
This opportunity is timely, as rolling blackouts have thrust thousands of Californians into darkness in the midst of a heatwave.
The offer will include a home battery storage system and 10 years of monitoring and maintenance, on top of original warranties from the battery manufacturer. This will be Sunrun’s first time offering battery storage without solar power.
“I encourage all Californians to take control of their own energy and explore the benefits of a home battery,” said Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich. “Storage is critical to energy equity. This program is easy to apply for and free for California’s most vulnerable populations. It helps families keep the lights on and food fresh when the power goes out, no matter their income level, while supporting a cleaner and more reliable electricity system.”
Now more than ever these communities need affordable, reliable power. According to a California Energy Commission study, low-income households spend three times more of their income towards energy costs than higher earners. Many low-income families often can’t afford enough electricity to stay warm or cool. Shutoffs can bring about even bigger problems, such as spoiled medication and food. By reaching customers who live in the Central Valley – specifically San Joaquin Valley – and in Greater Los Angeles and elsewhere, GRID Alternatives and Sunrun are providing access to Californians who face some of the highest energy burdens and who will benefit the most from affordable, clean solutions.
“We want to live in a world where families can stay in their homes, free of burdensome energy costs, health and safety risks, and the threat of environmental disasters, through the use of renewable energy technologies like battery storage,” said GRID Alternatives CEO and co-founder Erica Mackie. “That’s why we’re excited to partner with Sunrun to bring no-cost battery storage technology to underserved customers throughout California.”
Energy that is stored where it’s used is cleaner and more resilient than fossil-fueled generators. Generating energy at home and in communities means utility companies don’t have to transport as much electricity long distances in dry, wildfire-prone conditions. Distributed energy systems also enable people to share power locally, making the grid safer, more resilient and more affordable for everyone.
The SGIP Equity Resiliency Budget is funded through a California Public Utilities’ Commission (CPUC) initiative that provides rebates for distributed energy resources. This budget is dedicated specifically to Equity and Resiliency customers, who qualify based on income or medical needs, and who live in a high fire-threat district or power shutoff region. Residents who are both equity qualified and live in power-threatened regions can access incentives that make them eligible for batteries completely free of charge.