In a West Coast first, Menlo Park to electrify 1,000 buildings by 2024

Text from one of our Action Groups, Menlo Spark.

Menlo Park Partners with BlocPower for a Citywide Program to Replace Methane Gas Appliances, Improve Indoor Air Quality & Create New Jobs

What if everyone who wanted clean air, a healthy home, and a climate resilient community could get help replacing fossil fuels in their home with clean, electric options that save money? On Tuesday [6/14], Menlo Park adopted a resolution supporting a partnership with BlocPower for citywide electrification and workforce development. The project will focus on home upgrades in Belle Haven first, aiming to eventually ramp up to serve 1,000 or more homes and buildings in Melo Park switching from polluting gas to clean electric each year.

BlocPower is a Public Benefit company that provides “one stop shop”, voluntary electrification program assisting home- and building-owners who want to replace gas appliances with clean electric appliances and energy efficient upgrades. The program also includes a workforce training program that will recruit locally for free training to become an installer of electric heating, cooling and appliances.

Why is it important to electrify and phase out fossil fuels including methane gas?

Burning natural gas produces potent indoor air pollutants that pose serious threats to health, especially to those who are most vulnerable: young children, the elderly, and people with asthma. Adding to the health and safety hazards, gas use in Menlo Park accounts for over 40% of the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

BlocPower project manages full electrification and energy efficiency upgrades, creating valuable workforce training programs; their services include:

  • Energy audits & project plans;
  • Installing equipment (such as a heat pump water heater) & taking care of permits;
  • Keeping projects affordable by streamlining rebates & incentive funds, and offering low-cost or no-cost financing;
  • Maintaining and fixing equipment, as needed, over its useful life; and
  • Improving energy efficiency, remediating mold/asbestos, and offering similar upgrades.

This partnership helps the City achieve its climate goals, and benefits the community, which will receive support for everyone who wants to be a part of the clean energy transition. BlocPower creates economies of scale and gathers together all the incentive programs to make the transition affordable.

Menlo Park announced Wednesday that it is partnering with BlocPower, a Brooklyn clean-tech startup, to decarbonize buildings by replacing gas-powered furnaces and appliances with more efficient technologies like electric heat pumps and solar power to improve air quality and reduce emissions.

The commitment represents the first of its kind on the West Coast and is the latest example of how cities are unilaterally working to rapidly wean off fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions in response to the accelerating impacts of climate change.

In partnership with a local nonprofit, the city is working to raise $35 million to reduce costs for low-to-moderate-income households. In addition, BlocPower has committed to providing accessible financing to those interested.

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Article published by the San Francisco Examiner.