Here’s what’s new at Green The Church the week of July 31, 2023

Author: GTC Staff        Published: 7/31/2023   Green The Church


Green The Church Weekly News

Greetings Ronald,

Here’s what’s new at Green The Church the week of July 31, 2023.

Pastors, Your Community Needs You

Tell the EPA to Cut Soot Pollution (Link to Take Action)

Pastors and church leaders know the power of a unified voice. As a people we have a history of mobilizing to create change, and we have the opportunity today to help cut pollution in half by 2030. The Biden administration is committed to ensuring we #CutClimatePollution, and to ensure this issue gets the attention it deserves, we need your voice. Our partners at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) need to be able to demonstrate they have the support of the communities impacted most by environmental racism. That’s where your comment of support for pollution-ravaged communities will make a difference. We know the power of strength in numbers. Add your voice to help ensure these standards are adopted. Click here to show your support. 

HBCU Climate Change Conference in Louisiana

Green The Church DMV Webpage

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in collaboration with Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University will host the Ninth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference October 11-15, 2023. This conference will bring together HBCU faculty and students, researchers, climate professionals, and environmental justice and community residents impacted by toxic facilities and severe weather events related to climate change in order to bridge the gap between theory and the experiential realities of climate change.

Topics to be addressed include issues related to climate justice, adaptation, community resilience, global climate issues, and other major climate change topics (i.e. transportation, energy sources, carbon emissions, green jobs/green economy, just transition, and community economic development). The conference will also engage college-bound high school students and introduce them to climate science, within the context of how their daily life activities affect climate. Learn more and register here.

An Environmental Justice Quest in Alabama

SolarCorps Fellowship Applications Now Open

A historic Black neighborhood in Elba, Alabama, began flooding after the state widened nearby Highway 84. The Shiloh community becomes a lake during heavy rainfall and has been waiting on the state of Alabama to resolve the flooding issue, but no help has come.

Elba is the hometown of Robert D. Bullard, PhD, often known as the “father of environmental justice”. The distinguished professor at Texas Southern University has won prestigious awards for his decades of work examining and unveiling the nation’s persistent racial disparities and has written more than a dozen books on the topic. Dr. Bullard is leading a team of environmental justice and transportation equity experts on a “Fact-Finding Journey to Justice” to investigate intersecting consequences for Elba of highway widening and climate change, which research has shown disproportionately impacts people of color. Read the full story here.




OPC Gets Big Consumer Win, Let’s Get Fired up & Ready to Go Electric, Ready to Get in the Water, and More in the July OPC Connection!

Author: DCOPC Staff    Published: 7/31/2023       DCOPC

July 2023

A Note from Your

People’s Counsel

Sandra Mattavous-Frye

It’s (Going to Be) Electric!

In the clean energy economy of the future most cars, trucks and buses will need to be powered by batteries that get recharged by electric vehicle (EV) chargers. OPC has been advocating before the Public Service Commission and DC Council to ensure that the charging network is developed equitably, reliably, affordably, and considers the needs of the many DC residents that do not own a vehicle of any kind. In recent testimony before the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, OPC provided input on a bill to expand the EV charging network in the District.

The Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Access, Readiness, and Sustainability Amendment Act of 2023 (B25-0106) aims to promote EV adoption by requiring the District Department of Transportation to install 35 new EV charging stations, establish an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Grant Program, and develop an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment and Management Plan to deploy 7,500 chargers in the District by 2027.

Charles Allen, Ward 6 Councilmember and Committee Chairman, introduced the bill. OPC commends his efforts to utilize federal funds in expanding the District’s EV charging network and supports the move to maximize these funds to accelerate the clean energy transition. To protect electric ratepayers, OPC strongly recommends specifying federal funding to pay for these programs. Additionally, considering that EV ownership is higher among affluent residents, OPC suggests alternatives to free EV charging stations to avoid having lower-income residents subsidize the charging. To encourage commercial investment in EV charging infrastructure, OPC recommends allowing commercial providers to participate in charger ownership and maintenance, spreading the risk of these investments and ensuring ongoing upkeep without passing costs on to ratepayers.

While 7,500 chargers may not be the right goal, OPC supports a network that is right-sized to anticipate and serve the growing demand for these chargers.

OPC’s Advocacy in Long-standing Benning Road Plant Battle Ends in

$2M Win for Pepco Consumers

As a direct result of relentless advocacy by the Office of the People’s Counsel, related to the old Pepco Benning Road Power Plant, Pepco customers will receive a refund of nearly $2 million.

In 1999, Pepco sought Public Service Commission (PSC) approval to sell its electricity generating stations at the Benning Road Power Plant in Northeast. Eventually, a settlement agreement granted Pepco the right to sell the plant. However, an essential provision of the agreement explicitly stated that Pepco was prohibited from recovering plant-related costs from its ratepayers.

Eleven years later, the US Environmental Protection Agency discovered contaminants near the facility and traced them back to Pepco’s cooling towers. Consequently, the District Department of Energy and Environment sued Pepco to hold the utility responsible for the cleanup of the contaminated site. To address the contamination issue, a settlement agreement was negotiated requiring Pepco to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study to determine the most suitable cleanup plan.

In a 2019 rate increase case (Formal Case No. 1156), Pepco filed a request to recover the cost of the investigation and study from ratepayers. OPC opposed this request, arguing that the 1999 agreement barred Pepco from holding consumers responsible for any costs related to the plant’s cleanup.

Despite OPC’s compelling arguments, the Commission ruled in Pepco’s favor. OPC subsequently requested the Commission reconsider its decision, but the Commission denied reconsideration. OPC then appealed the case to the DC Court of Appeals. In November 2022, the court sided with OPC and sent the case back to the PSC for further review.

On Thursday, July 27, OPC got a key victory for Pepco consumers when the Commission rescinded its decision and stated that Pepco was not entitled to recover from ratepayers any costs related to the cleanup of the Benning Road facility based on the 1999 settlement agreement.

This outcome reinforces the significance of adhering to settlement agreements, holding utilities accountable for their obligations, and the crucial role OPC always stands ready to play to protect DC consumers in the face of complex legal battles.

Continuing with our series, Working Groups at the Public Service Commission, this month we feature the Energy Efficient and Demand Response (EEDR) Metrics Working Group. This Working Group started in November 2019 with recommendations presented in January 30, 2020. One of the recommendations was for an EEDR Potential Study to guide future EEDR programs, designs, implementation, and energy saving goals.

The PSC directed Pepco and Washington Gas to be a part of this study. In addition, the Commission wanted to make sure utility programs do not impact businesses and nonprofits providing energy efficiency and demand response programs. Pepco filed its Potential Study in May and now is seeking comments on that study.


OPC Connecting at the PSC

OPC In Your Neighborhood!

OPC looks forward to seeing you in-person. We welcome the opportunity to speak at your Advisory Neighborhood Commission, civic association or community group meeting onsite or virtually. We can give updates on utility issues, trends, and outline how we serve. Call (202) 727-3071 if your group would like our staff to make a presentation onsite or “Zoom in.” Contact the organizations directly if you would like links to attend any of the meetings we’ll be visiting virtually.

 Public Service Commission Energy Pop-Up

Wednesday, August 16

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Lamond-Riggs/ Lillian J. Huff Library

5401 South Dakota Ave NE







FERC Takes Action That Will Help Accelerate Thousands of Clean Energy Projects

Author:  Published: 7/27.2023      Evergreen Action

In response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalizing their highly anticipated Interconnection RuleEvergreen Action Power Sector Senior Policy Lead Charles Harper released the following statement:

“We can’t meet our climate and clean energy goals unless clean energy projects can come online, and today FERC took decisive action to help accelerate thousands of clean energy projects that have been stalled in years-long interconnection queues. Today’s final interconnection rule will help bring desperately needed clean energy to the grid faster to meet rising demand, boost reliability, and combat fossil fuel price volatility.

“The interconnection backlog is a major hurdle to a thriving clean energy economy. Right now, new clean energy projects take an average of more than three and a half years to get through the queue, and only a fraction of proposed generators ultimately make it to the grid. We are pleased to see that the new rule includes strict deadlines and penalties for utilities that fail to meet them. As Chairman Phillips recognized today, there is much more to do to plan and build a robust transmission system that can accommodate the influx of new power coming online. We encourage FERC to build on today’s progress with urgency. In the race against climate change, we can’t afford any more unnecessary delays.”


Earlier this year, Evergreen and NRDC called on FERC to finalize a new interconnection rule in Powering Toward 100% Clean Power by 2035. It’s clear that major grid upgrades and significant transmission reform will be necessary to achieve President Biden’s climate and clean energy target, and an updated interconnection rule can help bring more solar, wind, and battery storage online by requiring a “first-ready, first-served cluster study process” that groups projects together and prioritizes those closest to commercial operation. You can read more about FERC’s role in America’s clean energy transition here.

You can view this statement online here.


Visit Website

2023 DCPSC Supplier Diversity Hearing

Author: DCPSC Staff       Published: 7/26/2023   DCPSC

The DCPSC hosts an annual legislative-style Supplier Diversity Hearing where representatives from Pepco, Washington Gas, and Verizon detail their utility’s practices related to the use of diverse suppliers in the District of Columbia over the past year. Regulation of fair and open competition requires the DCPSC ensure that the District’s regulated utilities reasonably utilize diverse businesses.

Through the 2023 proceeding, the DCPSC will evaluate the utilities’ commitment to the voluntary MOU and whether they are delivering results that are leading to quantifiable improvements. DCPSC Commissioners will review the quantitative data provided by the utilities and engage with both the utilities and suppliers for qualitative data.

Thank you for registering to attend the 2023 DCPSC Supplier Diversity Hearing. If you have registered to watch the livestream of the event, or if you previously registered to attend in person but will be unable to do so, please use the following YouTube link to watch the hearing:

Thanks again for joining us for this event. If you have any questions, please email

STATE FACT SHEETS: How President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is delivering for Americans in all 50 states and territories

Author: The White House  Staff  Published: MARCH 31, 2023     WHIA

For decades, the U.S. exported jobs and imported products, while other countries surpassed us in critical sectors like infrastructure, clean energy, semiconductors, and biotechnology. Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda – including historic legislation signed into law by President Biden such as the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act – that is changing. Since the President took office in 2021, companies have committed over $435 billion in private sector investments across the country. These investments are creating good-paying jobs, including union jobs and jobs that don’t require a four-year degree in industries that will boost U.S. competitiveness, rebuild infrastructure, strengthen supply chains, and help build a clean energy economy.

To view the state-by-state and territory-specific impact the President’s Investing in America agenda is having, see below:

Fact Sheets by State and Territory:


National Business Capital

Author: National Business Capital Staff     Published: 5/3/2023    NCB


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Larry L. Gilmore: ClearBlu Group Inc. – ClearVision

Author: ClearBlu Capital Group Staff      Published: 5/3/2023     CBG

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Funding Notice: $20 Million Available for Solar Recycling & Technology Improvements

Author: US DOE Staff    Published; 7/25/2023        EERE

U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Funding OpportunitiesDivider


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the FY23 Materials, Operation, and Recycling of Photovoltaics (MORE PV) funding opportunity, which will provide up to $20 million over three years for research and development projects to create innovative and practical approaches to improve PV system lifecycle performance as well as increase the reuse and recycling of solar energy technologies. These research activities will strengthen a circular economy for solar energy systems in the United States, aligning with the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals to build a clean and equitable energy economy.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is designed to address challenges associated with the rapid deployment of PV systems in the United States, including the increasing demand for PV materials, system operation and maintenance, and recycling. The focus of this FOA is to support technology improvements to reduce these challenges, with a holistic view of all stages of the PV lifecycle—from the material needs and installation to operation and end of life. This opportunity also supports DOE’s Photovoltaics End-of-Life Action Plan which aims to halve the cost of recycling by 2030 and reduce the environmental impact of solar energy modules at end-of-life.

DOE anticipates making approximately four to seven awards under this FOA, each ranging from $2 million to $8 million. Teams from institutions of higher education, for-profit entities, non-profit entities, state and local government, and Tribal entities are encouraged to apply.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, applicants must submit a letter of intent by September 6 at 5 p.m. ET and a concept paper by September 13 at 5 p.m. ET.

Learn more about this funding opportunity and other open funding opportunities within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Robert F. Smith’s Vista Equity Partners Sells Software Company Apptio To IBM For $4.6B

Author: Ngozi Nwanji    Published: 6/27/2023  Afrotech 

Robert F. Smith has made a move that has skyrocketed his private equity firm’s revenue.

Markets Insider reports that the billionaire’s Vista Equity Partners has sold Apptio to IBM for $4.6 billion. The sale of the software maker has doubled the firm’s money after acquiring it back in 2019 — marking a return of 142% on the $1.9 billion investment. As previously reported by AfroTech, Vista Equity Partners bought the Seattle, WA-based company in cash two years after it went public.

The outlet details that IBM shared “it will use cash on hand to fund the deal, which it expects to complete in the second half of 2023.”

To date, Vista Equity Partners has generated $18 billion by cashing out its bets since November 2021.

As AfroTech previously told you, Smith founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000. Across two decades, the company has built an extensive portfolio and invested in the likes of STATS, Ping Identity, Jio, and more.

“With over $96 billion in assets under management and over 20 years of investing exclusively in enterprise software, we believe the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future — a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community, and a broader path to prosperity,” the company’s website states.

In addition to having a focus on software, Smith is highly active in the education space with the Student Freedom Initiative (SFI). In September 2022, the organization announced it had joined Connect Humanity, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, and the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities in a public-private partnership to work toward digital equity.

“We’re bringing solar panel systems to one of the HBCUs, which will actually power 20,000 homes,” Smith told AfroTech. “Our plan is that as we offset our greenhouse gases across our portfolio companies, we actually enable the building and construction of solar arrays in underrepresented minority neighborhoods we use for our HBCU students to learn, train and develop their capacity to participate in that part of the industry as well.”



LPO Offers First Conditional Commitment for a Virtual Power Plant to Sunnova’s Project Hestia to Support Grid Reliability and Expand Clean Energy Access

Author: US DOE  LPO Staff    Published: 4/20/2023 LOAN PROGRAMS OFFICE

a graphic announcing conditional commitment to Sunnova for Project Hestia with a cloudlike graphic representing the virtual power plant

Loan Programs Office

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) today announced a conditional commitment to Sunnova Energy Corporation’s Project Hestia for an up to $3 billion partial loan guarantee to make distributed energy resources (DERs), including rooftop solar, battery storage, and virtual power plant (VPP)-ready software available to more American homeowners. Project Hestia is expected to prioritize a focus on households in disadvantaged communities across the United States, including Puerto Rico, as well as homeowners with lower credit ratings. If finalized, the partial loan guarantee would enable Sunnova, a leading Energy as a Service provider, to provide loans for clean energy systems for approximately 75,000 to 115,000 homeowners throughout the United States, including its territories.

Over the next 25 years, the approximately 568 MW project, comprised of solar installations, battery systems, and smart software to reduce energy waste, is expected to avoid an estimated 7.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the 25-year life of the project. That’s equivalent to eliminating carbon emissions from 1.5 million vehicles on the nation’s roads. If finalized, the project is estimated to create over 3,400 American jobs.

Increased access to clean distributed generation and VPPs will strengthen the U.S. power system, improve energy security, and play a vital role in supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that every community benefits from the clean energy transition. VPPs will also be critical for achieving the president’s goals of a carbon-free grid by 2035 and a carbon-free economy by 2050.

The conditional commitment for Project Hestia reflects LPO’s intent to support its first VPP project. VPPs are aggregated grid-connected DERs such as photovoltaics (PV), battery storage systems, electric vehicles, and flexible end uses combined with communications and control software. Coupling aggregated DERs with smart software can create a powerful collective tool—a “virtual power plant”—to deliver affordable power and support grid reliability and decarbonization in an increasingly electrified world.

Sunnova will offer homeowners innovative software to accompany the PV and batteries and support demand flexibility. The software will give customers insight into their household’s energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, allowing customers to reduce electricity use—or even contribute electricity to the system in markets that allow such contributions—when the grid is under stress. Demand flexibility can improve grid reliability and help lower energy prices for customers, including, importantly, in energy-burdened communities.

In support of Justice40, the project would actively seek to increase customer origination in communities identified by DOE as disadvantaged with a focus on communities with high energy burden, outage duration and events, and climate hazards.

Rooftop solar has reached commercial market acceptance, with lenders comfortable providing commercial debt to PV projects backed by well-capitalized sponsors. But not all homeowners can access affordable clean energy debt financing. In particular, customers with lower credit ratings are typically unable to secure financing for such systems. This partial loan guarantee is expected to enable Sunnova’s dealer network to better serve this market.

As of September 30, 2022, Sunnova served approximately 250,000 customers across the United States, 14% of whom had added battery storage to their solar systems. With the partial loan guarantee to Project Hestia, Sunnova can expand into more markets, including to homeowners with low credit scores and those facing high energy burdens. Sunnova is targeting at least 20% of Project Hestia loans to assist customers with credit scores of 680 FICO or less. In addition, Sunnova anticipates 30% of Project Hestia customers will have batteries included with their system, doubling Sunnova’s battery system footprint fleetwide based on a September 2022 baseline.

Sunnova also seeks to provide loans to homeowners in energy-burdened communities. Sunnova will aim to provide up to 20% of Project Hestia loans to homeowners in Puerto Rico. All installations in Puerto Rico will include both solar and battery storage. The island has a history of severe weather events which have resulted in frequent and sustained power outages. Rooftop solar-plus-storage systems have demonstrated their ability to provide power to homes during severe weather events, often when grid infrastructure on the island is damaged. DOE recently released its PR100 report, which details possible pathways to 100% clean energy in Puerto Rico.

The conditional commitment was announced in conjunction with the Department’s Solar Energy Technologies Office’s (SETO) 2022 Sunny Awards winners. An additional slate of solar announcements made by Secretary Granholm include the 25 competitors for DOE’s Community Power Accelerator Prize and $52 million in selections for solar research and development projects.

Collectively, these announcements from LPO and SETO highlight the many ways DOE is expanding access to solar power across America.

LPO is offering the conditional commitment through the Title 17 Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Just as Title 17 catalyzed the deployment of commercial-scale solar PV in the United States more than a decade ago, the program can accelerate the nascent VPP sector for market acceptance in support of the Biden-Harris administration’s clean energy goals.

While this conditional commitment demonstrates LPO’s intent to issue a partial guarantee for the project, several steps remain for the project to reach critical milestones, and certain conditions must be satisfied before the Department issues a final partial loan guarantee, including finalization of definitive financing documents.

Deployment of VPPs is an important step toward increased grid reliability and lower costs for American consumers. Learn more about VPPs, including their potential role in the clean energy transition, their ability to lend to demand flexibility, the role of solar and storage in VPPs, and market barriers that they must overcome.

Jigar Shah


Director of the Loan Programs Office

Participate in the Solar for All Grant Competition

Author:  US DOE SETO Staff Published: 7/20/2023  DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office


Solar for All Grant Competition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the $7 Billion Solar for All grant competition, which was created by the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). The competition will award up to 60 grants to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits to create and expand low-income solar programs and to prime disadvantaged communities for residential solar investment.

Applicants are required to submit a notice of intent (NOI) to apply to this competition. The deadlines by applicant type are:

  • July 31 for states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico;
  • August 14 for territories (specifically, The Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), municipalities, and eligible nonprofit recipients; or
  • August 28 for Tribal governments and Intertribal Consortia.

Solar for All programs ensure low-income households have equitable access to residential rooftop and residential community solar power. In addition, these programs guarantee low-income households receive the benefits of solar, including household savings, community ownership, energy resiliency, and other benefits. This grant competition seeks to enable millions of low-income households to access affordable, resilient, and clean solar energy.

Reference the Notice of Funding Opportunity and review frequently asked questions for more application requirements and additional background information. Resources and tools for prospective grantees, including webinar links and helpful templates, can be found on EPA’s GGRF Solar for All webpage.

Full applications for the Solar for All grant competition are due September 26. Please direct questions to

ICYMI: President Biden Delivers Remarks on How His Bidenomics Agenda is Growing the Economy

Author:WHOPSO  Staff  Published: 7/20/2023  OFFICE OF POLITICAL STRATEGY & OUTREACH 

Today, President Biden visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a steel-cutting ceremony at the Philly Shipyard for the first offshore wind vessel of its kind to be made in America. This project is employing over 1,000 workers across nine unions, using steel plates made by the United Steelworkers in Indiana, and generating an estimated $125 million of U.S. economic activity each year. This project is another example of how Bidenomics is growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up.

The President also announced the first-ever Gulf of Mexico wind lease sale, which is the latest in a broad set of actions by the Biden-Harris Administration to build 30 gigawatts of offshore wind projects by 2030.  A key pillar of Bidenomics and the Invest in America agenda is creating offshore wind jobs across the country, including through tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act to support the creation of wind turbines and ships made in the United States.

FACT SHEET: Bidenomics is Boosting Clean Energy Manufacturing for Offshore Wind and Creating Good Paying American Union Jobs

Watch the President’s Remarks Here
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Now Open…Community Power Accelerator Prize Round 2!

Author: US DOE Staff     Published: 7/17/2023    EERE

Solar Energy Technologies Office

CPA prize R2

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) announced the second round of the American-Made Community Power Accelerator Prize: Accessing Capital to Deploy Equitable Community Solar. This $10 million prize competition is designed to fast-track the efforts of new, emerging, and expanding solar developers, co-developers, community organizations, local governments, and Tribal organizations to learn, participate, and grow their operations to support multiple successful community solar projects. 

Competitors will participate in three phases of competition—Ready!, Set!, and Grow!—with up to 25 winners selected in each round. Individually, each competitor can win up to $400,000 over the course of the prize. 

Community solar is a form of solar energy generation that allows all community members to access the meaningful benefits of renewable energy, particularly those with low-to-moderate incomes, renters, and those for whom traditional rooftop solar is unavailable.    

The prize is a critical component of the Community Power Accelerator, a network of developers, investors, philanthropists, and community-based organizations that works together to ensure equitable community solar projects are adequately financed and deployed.  

These cash prizes will enable mission-aligned developers and other groups to expand their staff and operations, and to design and deploy multiple community solar projects that use replicable business models and prioritize equitable access. These projects and models will expand community solar and drive new capital to community solar across the country. 

In addition to earning cash prizes, winners will participate in a learning lab, and obtain technical assistance to further scope out their project portfolios to get them ready for financing. Through this process, the teams will develop skills critical to deploying hundreds of megawatts of equitable community solar, which support NCSP’s goal of 20 gigawatts by 2025.  

The deadline to apply for the Ready! contest is October 4, 2023.  

Register for one of the informational webinars on August 8 at 3 p.m. ET or September 19 at 3 p.m. ET to hear more about the prize program.  

Learn more about this prize and other open funding opportunities within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  

Summer Ready DC

Author:  DCPSC Staff         Published: 7/17/2023    Washington Informer News

Learn the simple and inexpensive actions you can take to help save energy and reduce utility bills during summer months.

Summer Ready DC

Through the DCPSC Summer Ready DC campaign, District residents can prepare their homes for high temperatures and summer storms by:

Find out how to receive a FREE weatherization item for your home.
Take simple steps to ensure your home is in good shape and that it’s ready for summer weather.

11 ways to reduce summer utility bills

Take a few small steps now to conserve energy and save on your utility bills.
1). Cut down on energy leaks.

  • Shut off the light behind you.
  • Unplug electronics that aren’t being used (e.g., cell phone chargers, small appliances, or power strips that provide power for many devices).

    Note: TVs, DVD players, digital photo frames, and other appliances use more energy than you realize. Unplugging an appliance is best because certain appliances use energy even if they are turned off. Consult with roommates or coworkers before unplugging a shared appliance.

2). Close blinds, storm windows, or shades during the day.

  • The sun can heat up a room very quickly.
  • Keeping the sun from shining into windows will cut down on cooling costs.

    Note: Many stores sell thermal insulated curtains designed to protect against the heat.

3). Use air conditioning efficiently.

Note: The smaller the difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the smaller your bill. Do not place appliances that give off heat, such as lamps or TVs, near an air conditioner’s thermostat.

4). Use fans instead of air conditioning.

  • Circulation is important to using less air conditioning during the summer.
  • Cool down the house early in the morning by placing a box fan in the window and opening up another window at the opposite end of the house, in addition to turning on ceiling fans. Box fans help cool air come inside.

    Note: Most central air conditioners will also have internal fans to help circulate the air in your house while reducing the need to use the air conditioner. Turn the fan on “auto.” Using fans at night will help a natural breeze cool down your house. This will work if the temperature drops at night. Turn a fan directly towards yourself or guests.

5). Avoid heat build-up in your home.

  • Use heavy appliances (e.g., washer, dryer, air conditioning, computers) in the early morning or late night.
  • On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave, or grill outside.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and/or clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and/or clothing.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.

Note: Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot device such as curling irons or hair dryers. Wait until after 6 p.m. to cook, do laundry, or wash dishes on days the temperature is more than 90 degrees.

6). Ask about utility discounts or budget billing.

  • Receive help with your bill year-round if you are in a low-income household, on disability, or have a limited income for other reasons.
  • Budget billing can help you avoid seasonal peaks in your energy bills by dividing your payments evenly over the course of the entire year.

    Note: Budget billing makes it easier to budget and pay your energy bill each month, because you’ll know your regular payment amount.

7). Participate in Pepco’s Energy Wise RewardsTM program

  • This program helps you take more control over your energy usage, save money, and become more sustainable.
  • Pepco cycles your central air conditioner or heat pump over short intervals (conservation periods) on selected summer days

8). Use energy efficient LED light bulbs.

  • LED bulbs are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs because they use less energy.
  • Most stores have these bulbs available for purchase.

    Note: Check lamps and other lights to see if you are using any incandescent bulbs. Replace all the incandescent bulbs in your house or office.

9). Use appliances efficiently to save energy.

  • Microwaves, pressure cookers, or outdoor grills use less electricity than stoves and ovens.
  • You can also use a clothesline instead of a dryer.
  • When purchasing new products, look for energy efficient options.

10). Check for proper insulation.

  • Insulation cuts down on cooling costs because it helps keep cool air inside during the summer.
  • Your home or place of work may not have enough insulation.
  • Some types of insulation can be installed by you, and others need professional installation.
  • Check for insulation in attics or crawl spaces, making note of areas where there is weathering or gaps in the insulation.
  • Consult a professional to check your wall insulation because it requires probing an electrical socket
  • Batt insulation is flexible blanket-like products that fit into spaces of the wall. This type of insulation can be installed by homeowners.
  • Foam or fiber insulation will need to be installed by a professional.

11). Plant shady trees on the west and south sides of your house.

  • This is a more permanent solution to cutting down summer energy costs, and it’s only possible if you are a homeowner or if you get permission from your landlord. The shady trees will cut down on cooling costs for your home.
Additional programs and resources
Listed below are additional programs, resources and information for District consumers to keep cool, save en


Big news: Biden delivers!

Author: Lee Ann Hal    Published: 7/15/2023 National Campaign for Justice  

National Campaign for Justice


It’s been barely two weeks since the Supreme Court in a devastating ruling overturned the Biden administration’s student loan cancellation program and once again prioritized profits over people and corporations over constituencies.

In that short time a lot has happened. Organizing to cancel education debt using the provisions in the Higher Education Act that Education Secretary DeVos used under Trump has escalated the pressure on President Biden to find an alternative way to still fulfill his campaign promise — and the pressure is working.

Yesterday, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the Biden administration would cancel $39 billion in student debt for more than 800,000 borrowers immediately. They used their already existing power and authority to access compliance with payment programs in favor of the borrower’s actual payment history, instead of continuing a decades old formula that disregarded legitimate payments for technicalities.

It’s a big deal and will have a huge impact on the more than 800,000 people and families affected. But let’s be clear, it’s also not enough. They must do more. And as the financial burden of tuition, fees, room, and board spirals higher year after year and the dream of an affordable college education has become increasingly out of reach for many, we must work to pass a long term solution that wouldn’t require debt cancellation in the future.

That’s what makes the College for All Act, introduced by Sen. Sanders and Rep. Jayapal, so important. It holds transformative potential. This legislation is about ensuring everyone who seeks a higher education can afford one, reducing the need for a student loan and increasing access for communities most affected by structural racism.

Help us build support for affordable education by becoming a grassroots co-sponsor of the College for Act now. Show Congress your support for this vital initiative that will make higher education a right, not a privilege by adding your name now.

Add Your Name

The College for All Act would make college more affordable for everyone by:

  • Eliminating tuition and fees at public community colleges for all students;
  • Making public four-year institutions, HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs tuition-free for families making less than $125,000 annually;
  • Doubling the funding for Pell Grants;
  • Prohibiting future administrations from making significant cuts education budgets

The reality is, college affordability is more than just a financial issue. It’s about creating a society where everyone, irrespective of their economic status, has the opportunity to pursue higher education and the prospects it brings.

Access to affordable education drives social mobility, fosters innovation, and equips our youth with the skills they need for the future. By addressing the affordability crisis, we are not just investing in individuals, but in our communities and the very fabric of our nation’s future.

Take a moment to add your name as a grassroots co-sponsor and help make college affordable for everyone now.

We must continue to rally for a future where every student has access to an affordable college education. Thank you for taking action today.


LeeAnn Hall
Director, National Campaign for Justic


Advocating for AGOA Extension and Enhancement on Capitol Hill

Author: FFDA Staff     Published: 6/13/2023  AGOA

Premier Signs Pettion

Alan Winde, Premier, Western Cape, South Africa

A delegation from the Western Cape in South Africa led by Premier Alan Winde and the AGOA Civil Society Network Secretariat and its members met with the Ways and Means Committee to advocate for a 10-year extension and enhancement for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) due to expire in 2025 and to strengthen U.S.-South Africa economic cooperation.

According to Premier Winde, the Western Cape economy benefits significantly from AGOA. A recent survey showed that the AGOA is particularly popular among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 92% of SMEs viewing the United States as a priority market and more than 80% of SMEs indicating that AGOA has a significant impact on the sustainable growth of their business.

Western Cape is the 4th largest of the nine provinces and the 3rd largest economy in South Africa.

Mr. Oladeinde emphasized that the meeting is timely, following the 8th Annual AGOA Civil Society Organization Network Spring Conference of April 13, 2023, under the theme: Extending AGOA to 2035: Using Trade to Strengthen US-Africa Strategic Alliances, and the 7th Annual Spring Conference of April 19, 2022, under the theme: US-Africa Trade and Investment: Current Threats, Challenges and Opportunities, in partnership with the Embassy of The Republic of South Africa.

  Read Mr. Oladeinde’s Entire Statement, click below:

Read Statement

The Western Cape Delegation, and the AGOA CSO Network and members meet with the Committee on Ways and Mean


Preimier & FOO Cap Hill

Premier Winde and Fred Oladeinde

HEME: The Diaspora: Accelerating US-Africa Trade,Investment, and Technological Innovation.”

Stepping Back in time, we invite you to explore a significant video that captures a pivotal moment. The Foundation for Democracy in Africa, in partnership with the Interim African Union Commission held an event on December 17, 2002 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. This event marked the first African Union engagement with Civil Society Organizations and the Diaspora, focusing on the Future of Africa. The video, film by CSPAN, showcases the insightful discussions and exchange of ideas that took place, emphasizing the importance of unity, collaboration, and progress for the African continent.

Moving Forward, we invite you to join us at our Annual US-Africa Trade & Investment Conference/Expo, AfrICANDO 2023. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Diaspora: Accelerating US-Africa Trade, investment, and technological innovation.” We believe that the African Diaspora plays a vital role in fostering economic growth, enhancing trade relations, and driving technological innovation between the United States and Africa. AfrICANDO aims to bring together key stakeholders, Civil Society Organizations, industry leaders, government officials, and entrepreneurs from both continents to explore opportunities, forge partnerships, and make a lasting impact on US-Africa trade and investment.

Whether you are interested in exploring investment opportunities, expanding your network, or staying updated on the latest trends and innovations, AfrICANDO 2023 is the place to be. It is just around the corner, and we encourage you to take advantage of the early-bird registration by June 30, 2023.

Register, Today!!!



Solar for All Will Deliver Billions in Benefits to Disadvantaged Communities

Author: Justin Balik  Published: 6/28/2023       Evergreen Action 

In response to the launch of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Solar for All competition, Evergreen Action State Program Director Justin Balik released the following statement:

“The $7 billion Solar for All grant competition launched today by EPA has the potential to be a game changer for deploying residential and community solar in disadvantaged communities. Too often, the neighborhoods that stand to benefit most from clean energy investments have been boxed out of the job creation, pollution reduction, and cost savings that residential solar can bring. With billions in funding on the table and a plan to award up to 60 grants ranging between $25-$400 million, the benefits of this competition could impact every corner of the country.

“The Solar for All competition demonstrates how we can tailor climate policy to begin to directly address long-standing economic and environmental injustices. We applaud EPA and the Biden administration for taking this important step, and we look forward to seeing the program in action.”

The Solar for All competition is an important pillar of one of the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) largest grant program: the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). Evergreen called for a program like the GGRF (at times referred to as a green bank or clean energy accelerator) dating back to the release of the Evergreen Action Plan, and fought to secure funding for the GGRF in the IRA. The Solar for All Program also advances President Biden’s Justice 40 Initiative, which aims to send 40 percent of benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities, an initiative Evergreen was also proud to call for in our Action Plan. To learn more about the GGRF and why it’s a big deal for the clean energy future of states, local governments, and Tribes, read Evergreen’s explainer You can view this statement online here.  

Visit Website

Biden administration announces nearly $11B for renewable energy in rural communities

Author: The Associated Press      Published May 16,2023     NPR

Author: Assoicated   Published: May 16,2023   Assoicated Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a nearly $11 billion investment on Tuesday to help bring affordable clean energy to rural communities throughout the country.

Rural electric cooperatives, renewable energy companies and electric utilities will be able to apply for funding through two programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said during a media briefing on Monday.

Vilsack said it was the largest single federal investment in rural electrification since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Act in 1936 as part of the New Deal.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Rural Utility Service to work collaboratively with our great partners, the Rural Electric cooperatives, in order to advance a clean energy future for rural America,” Vilsack said. “So this is an exciting and an historic day, and it continues an ongoing effort to ensure that rural America is a full participant in this clean energy economy.”

The Empowering Rural America program will make $9.7 billion available for rural electric cooperatives to create renewable energy, zero-emission and carbon capture systems.

Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, praised the administration for the investment.

“This is an exciting and transformative opportunity for co-ops and their local communities, particularly as we look toward a future that depends on electricity to power more of the economy,” Matheson said. “USDA has smartly structured this program in a way that will help electric co-ops leverage new tools to reduce costs and keep energy affordable while meeting the future energy needs of their rural communities.”

The Powering Affordable Clean Energy program will make $1 billion available in partially-forgivable loans for renewable energy companies and electric utilities to help finance renewable energy projects such as large-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects.

The Department of Agriculture said in a press release that the goal of this program is provide affordable clean energy to vulnerable, disadvantaged and Indigenous communities. But there is tension between building a clean energy infrastructure for all and mining the materials needed for that infrastructure.

For example, conservationists and Indigenous communities in Nevada have sued to block the opening of the largest mine planned in the U.S. for extraction of lithium used in electric vehicle batteries.

When asked about tribal concerns about mineral extraction at Monday’s briefing, Vilsack said there would be a “significant tribal consultation” for mining projects on land his agency controls. But when pressed about what would happen if an Indigenous community said no to a mining project, he declined to answer the question, calling it hypothetical.

Rural electric cooperatives can apply for grants, loans and loan modifications through the Empowering Rural America program between July 31 and Aug. 31. The application period for the Powering Affordable Clean Energy program is June 30 — Sept. 29.

Experts told The Associated Press that these programs could have a significant impact for rural America. “The ERA Program has the potential to help rural electric co-ops and municipal co-ops move the needle toward a cleaner, less carbon-intensive electricity mix,” said Felix Mormann, a professor of law at Texas A&M University who specializes in energy law and policy.

The programs will have relatively less impact on electricity growth in rural communities than the Rural Electrification Act during the New Deal, said Carl Kitchens, an associate professor of economics at Florida State University.

“When enacted in the 1930s, only 10 percent of farms had electric power; by 1950, it had risen to over 90 percent,” Kitchens said. “Today, electricity is nearly universal except for a few small pockets and portions of reservation land.”

Funding for the new programs comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, which has generated hundreds of billions of dollars for renewable energy transition and environmental cleanup. In February, the Biden administration announced details on how states and nonprofits could apply for $27 billion in funding from a ” green bank.” The next month, officials announced $2 billion to create the Rural Energy for America Program.

And since the beginning of the year, they’ve announced hundreds of millions of dollars for the renewable energy transition from climate-warming fossil fuels, environmental cleanup and climate mitigation in poor communities and communities of color.


Invitation: U.S. EPA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Announcement and Webinar

Author: WHCEQ Staff     Published: 7/14/2023      White House Council on Environmental Quality


Today at 3:15 PM ET at Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD, Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael Regan will announce $20 billion to capitalize a clean energy financing network that will massively expand investment in new projects that reduce pollution across the country. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund and $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator competitions are part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, a historic $27 billion investment made through the Inflation Reduction Act. Together, these grant competitions will help combat the climate crisis by mobilizing financing and private capital for greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects in communities across the country.

Join the livestream:

Also, you are invited to a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund webinar on Monday, July 17, 2023 at 2:00 PM ET to learn more about today’s announcement. See the full EPA press release and White House fact sheet for more information about this program.

Webinar Speakers:

  • Ike Irby, Special Assistant to the President and Chief Climate Advisor to the Vice President
  • Alison Cassady, Senior Policy Advisor for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation
  • Jahi Wise, Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Acting Director for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, Environmental Protection Agency

Register in advance for this webinar:

This virtual briefing is open to all stakeholders – please forward to others as appropriate.

More information about today’s announcement is available here and below.

The $20 billion will be deployed through two separate and complementary competitions, each aimed at mobilizing a national-scale clean energy financing network that ensures the clean energy opportunity reaches all Americans in every zip code:

  • The $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) competition will provide grants to support two-to-three national clean financing institutions that will partner with the private sector to provide accessible, affordable financing for tens of thousands of clean technology projects nationwide. At least 40% of NCIF funds will flow to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including communities with environmental justice concerns, traditional energy communities, rural communities, Tribal communities and other underserved areas.
  • The $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA) competition will work in tandem with the NCIF by providing grants to support two-to-seven hub nonprofit organizations that will provide funding and technical assistance to community lenders working to finance clean technology projects – from retrofitting homes to be highly efficient and zero emissions to electrifying small businesses’ delivery fleets – in low-income and disadvantaged communities. All CCIA funds will flow to these communities, helping advance the B