DCSEU Releases Solar for All RFP to Bring More Rooftop Solar to District Single Family Homes. CREF RFP Responses Due Tomorrow at COB.

Author: DCSEU Staff          Published: 10/18/2021       DCS

The DCSEU recently released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY 2022 Solar for All Income-Qualified Single Family Solar PV program. The DCSEU is soliciting proposals from contractors to install rooftop solar on single family homes in order to extend the benefits of solar power to income-qualified residents throughout the District – including seniors, veterans, and residents and families with limited incomes. Since 2019, the DCSEU has installed more than 300 solar systems on the roofs of income-qualified District residents at no-cost to them through Solar for All. Selected bidders will receive incentives to install solar systems on approximately 100 income-qualified DC single-family households, maintain the system, and to complete roof repairs on select homes in preparation for installation throughout FY 2022.

The information session to review the Solar for All Single-Family RFP will be on October 26, 2021. More information on how to register and the time of the upcoming session will be released soon.

DCSEU CREF RFP Responses Due October 19th at 5:00 pm EST

Solar developers and contractors interested in the CREF RFP, please submit your CREF RFP responses as soon as possible. Responses to the CREF RFP (including both proposals and financials) are due by end of business tomorrow, October 19th at 5:00 pm EST.  Please plan to get your responses in by that time.  All proposals must be submitted via the DCSEU Contractor Web Portal and financials emailed to ajohnson@dcseu.com. Late or improperly submitted responses will not be accepted.

Resources for the CREF RFP are posted to our website and the direct links to these resources are listed below.

Solar for All is a program of the District Department of Energy & Environment that aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low to moderate income families in the District of Columbia.

Submit CREF Responses & View the Single-Family RFP →

Fall Report 2021 on the Montgomery County Green Bank with Thomas Deyo Chief Executive Officer.

Author: MCGB Staff         Published: 10/12/2021      Montgomery County Green Bank

Montgomery Green Bank Names Tom Deyo As First CEO (PHOTO ...

On August 17, the Montgomery County Green Bank, along with partners at Groundswell, the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Sunlight General Capital, SunCatch Energy, Pepco, and local officials celebrated the installation of solar panels at Paddington Square Apartments in Silver Spring, MD. This project is Montgomery County’s first community solar project built to serve low- and moderate-income households by specifically setting aside subscriptions to provide more accessible and affordable options for renewable energy.On August 21, The Green Bank, alongside Montgomery College and the Community Solar at Paddington Square project development team, hosted an informational and educational event for residents and community members to learn more about community solar and job opportunities in the field.

Groundswell Subscriptions for Community Solar at Paddington Square
Groundswell subscriptions for Community Solar at Paddington Square are now available to renters and homeowners who are Pepco Maryland subscribers. Subscribers are eligible to receive solar energy produced in Maryland starting Fall 2021. Sign up today to support better solar access in Montgomery County, MD.

Topic of Discussion: The Montgomery County Green Bank is a nonprofit organization that works with private lenders and investors to increase the flow of investment to homeowners, multifamily property owners, businesses, and institutions for the installation of greener technologies that reduce energy costs, improve health, increase resilience, and lower the environmental impact of energy consumption. The Montgomery County Green Bank has a specific goal to direct a portion of its work to aid limited- and moderate-income households in accessing this financing.

First Community Solar Project Launched in Montgomery County

New Deal Highlights Successful EV Strategy for Condominium

Helping Homeowners Achieve Energy Efficiency

Introducing the Green Bank’s Communications and Community Engagement Manager: Tyniah McDuffie

Biden faces pressure to pass infrastructure bills before climate summit

Author: Rachel Frazin       Published: 10/12/2021       THE HIILL

Biden faces pressure to pass infrastructure bills before climate summit

President Biden is facing pressure to get major infrastructure legislation across the finish line ahead of a global climate summit this month.

Congress is currently working through both a bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes investments in an electric vehicle charging network and public transit and a Democrat-only “social infrastructure bill” that would spend heavily on clean energy.

Summit participants are keeping a particularly close eye on the Democratic measure, which has much greater potential to deliver the kind of emissions cuts Biden has promised.

Countries are expected to negotiate the future of climate action at the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, where the U.S. will be working to restore its climate leadership after four years of inaction under the Trump administration.

Passing the sweeping Democratic spending bill would give the U.S. more credibility and leverage in negotiations as it attempts to push other countries for more action.

“It will definitely improve the hand that special envoy [John] Kerry can play at the COP negotiations in Glasgow if legislation has been passed — in fact either bill, but of course ideally both,” said Kelly Sims Gallagher, who worked on climate diplomacy in the Obama administration.

“Although the Biden administration put in place a number of executive orders at the beginning of his presidency, those policies will only take the United States so far,” she said. “Legislation is really essential to be able to put the United States on track for achievement of the 2025 target and of course also the new target that President Biden announced in April for 2030.”

Former President Obama committed the U.S. to reducing its emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels. President Biden in April said he hoped the U.S. would cut its emissions to 50 to 52 percent of the 2005 level by 2030.

As of 2019, U.S. emissions were down 12 percent from 2005 levels, and then dropped almost 10 percent in a single year during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the International Energy Agency has warned of a spike in global emissions this year as economies look to rebound.

Democrats are saying the infrastructure bills will help reach Biden’s more ambitious goals.

In an August “Dear Colleague” letter, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the legislation would bring the U.S. on track to cut its emissions by about 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 — and with other executive and state actions, that number would reach 50 percent.

A version of the Democrats’ bill put forward in the House has a number of climate provisions, including clean energy tax credits, a fee on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, and a program that would seek to shift the bulk of the country’s electric power to renewable energy through payments and fines to power providers.

But the size, scope and timeline of the bill — currently carrying a $3.5 trillion price tag — are being cast in doubt amid qualms from conservative Democrats.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has not only raised issues with the size of the bill but also with some of its climate provisions, particularly the electricity program.

Nevertheless, forces both inside and outside Congress have said they hope to have a deal across the finish line as the U.S. seeks to restore its climate credibility on the world stage in the coming weeks.

“Glasgow is a matter of weeks away. We want the president to be able to go there with a plan to meet our emissions promises and standards,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said late last month.

Climate hawk Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) echoed those comments in a press conference with colleagues and climate activists outside the Capitol.

“We must act in Congress before Joe Biden goes to meet with the rest of the world,” he said.

Asked recently whether it was important for U.S. lawmakers to get the bill done before the conference, COP26 President Alok Sharma told reporters that “being able to show progress domestically is, of course … going to be important in terms of them encouraging others to do the same.”

Others argue that it’s particularly important to deliver tangential progress after the U.S. lost credibility on climate during the Trump administration — notably with his withdrawal from the Paris agreement, which was born out of a previous global climate conference.

“The experience of seeing President Trump walk away from the Paris agreement has countries understandably nervous about the long-term reliability of the United States,” said Jennifer Haverkamp, a climate negotiator during the Obama administration.

Haverkamp, now a professor at the University of Michigan, said that the U.S. not getting the legislation done in time could make it harder for other countries to justify their own climate actions.

“The negotiators from other countries are pretty sophisticated and make themselves students of the U.S. legislative process,” she said. “But for them to have the political backing of their governments and the support of their public, it’s harder to explain if they don’t have something concrete to point to from the United States.”

And Gallagher, who is now a professor at Tufts’s Fletcher School, noted that the U.S. passing its own legislation would allow American negotiators to push other countries to “hold themselves accountable to achieving the commitments that they’ve set for themselves.”

“In a number of countries there is a growing gap between what countries have committed to do and what policies they actually have in place,” she said.

But some say it’s more important to get a good bill done than to get it done quickly, even if it means having less to show at the conference.

“In an ideal world I think we would have a good deal on climate before COP26 because that really gives President Biden and the U.S. team more leverage going into the COP to be able to push for enhanced ambition from other countries,” said Danielle Arostegui, a senior analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund, “but at the end of the day, I think it’s the substance of the bill that really matters.”

Statement by President Joe Biden on Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Author: White House Staff         10/1//2021        The White House

Cyber threats can affect every American, every business regardless of size, and every community. That’s why my administration is marshalling a whole-of-nation effort to confront cyber threats.

I am committed to strengthening our cybersecurity by hardening our critical infrastructure against cyberattacks, disrupting ransomware networks, working to establish and promote clear rules of the road for all nations in cyberspace, and making clear we will hold accountable those that threaten our security. In May, I issued an executive order to modernize our defenses and position the Federal government to lead, rather than lag, in its own cybersecurity. By using the power of Federal technology spending, we are improving the software available for use to all Americans. Our 100-day action plan to improve cybersecurity across the electricity sector has already resulted in more than 150 utilities serving 90 million Americans committing to deploy cybersecurity technologies, and we are working to deploy action plans for additional critical infrastructure sectors. Both the public and private sectors have a role to play in strengthening cybersecurity, which is why we also issued a National Security Memorandum outlining the cybersecurity practices that responsible owners and operators of critical infrastructure should put in place and brought together leading American executives to expand public-private cooperation on cybersecurity.

We are also partnering closely with nations around the world on these shared threats, including our NATO allies and G7 partners. This month, the United States will bring together 30 countries to accelerate our cooperation in combatting cybercrime, improving law enforcement collaboration, stemming the illicit use of cryptocurrency, and engaging on these issues diplomatically. We are building a coalition of nations to advocate for and invest in trusted 5G technology and to better secure our supply chains. And, we are bringing the full strength of our capabilities to disrupt malicious cyber activity, including managing both the risks and opportunities of emerging technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. The Federal government needs the partnership of every American and every American company in these efforts. We must lock our digital doors — by encrypting our data and using multifactor authentication, for example—and we must build technology securely by design, enabling consumers to understand the risks in the technologies they buy. Because people – from those who build technology to those to deploy technology – are at the heart of our success.

This October, even as we recognize how much work remains to be done and that maintaining strong cybersecurity practices is ongoing work, I am confident that the advancements we have put in place during the first months of my Administration will enable us to build back better – modernizing our defenses and securing the technology on which our enduring prosperity and our security rely.

###

Energy Department Sets 2021 Community Solar Target to Power 5 Million Homes

Author: US DOE Staff          Published: 10/8/2021         SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Energy Department Sets 2021 Community Solar Target to Power 5 Million Homes

2025 Milestone Will Play a Key Role in Achieving Justice40 Goals and Create $1 Billion in Energy Savings 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a new National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) target: to enable community solar systems to power the equivalent of five million households by 2025 and create $1 billion in energy bill savings. Reaching these milestones will help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and ensure that all Americans can reap the benefits of renewable energy while building community wealth and resiliency.

“Community solar is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide affordable solar energy to all American households, regardless of whether they own a home or have a roof suitable for solar panels,” said Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “Achieving these ambitious targets will lead to meaningful energy cost savings, create jobs in these communities, and make our clean energy transition more equitable.”

There is enough solar installed to power 19 million households across the United States. Despite this unprecedented deployment, many Americans still lack access to affordable solar electricity, including many renters, homeowners who lack affordable financing options, and those without suitable roof conditions. Community solar is a form of energy generation where members subscribe to a portion of a solar array, usually located near their community. As the solar array produces energy, subscribers receive a portion of the revenue from the energy produced, typically as savings on their monthly electric bill — a critical factor for low-income and disadvantaged communities whose energy burden is three times higher than for non-low-income households.

There is enough community solar installed in the U.S. today to power 600,000 households—achieving DOE’s new NSCP target would mean an increase of more than 700% in the next four years. The recently released Solar Futures Study report from DOE and National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows how solar can play a major role in a decarbonized grid.

The NCSP is a DOE initiative led by the Solar Energy Technologies Office, in collaboration with the NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The partnership includes a coalition of community solar stakeholders, such as state, local and tribal governments, solar developers, and community-based organizations, working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household. Partners leverage peer networks as well as technical assistance funding and resources to overcome the persistent barriers to expanding community solar access with a focus on those in underserved communities. As of September 2021, NCSP had over 650 members from over 440 partner organizations.

The Sharing the Sun report released by NREL in collaboration with NCSP shows that community solar can lead to substantial bill savings—from 5 to 25%. Achieving $1 billion in cost savings would mean that, on average, community solar projects would provide a 20% bill savings. This target, along with other potential solutions for equitable community solar deployment, was informed by NCSP stakeholders in a recent request for information.

To achieve these new targets, DOE is offering free, on-demand technical assistance to NCSP partnership members. Technical assistance provides personalized support to organizations deploying community solar to help them accelerate implementation, improve the performance of their program or project, and build capacity for future community solar development. NCSP has already distributed $1 million for technical assistance and hopes to provide $2 million in the next year.

Learn more about NCSP and join the partnership.

 

Link for 22nd Annual US-Africa Trade and Investment Conference Trade Show: “Miami the Gateway to Africa 0ct.6-8,2021

Author: AGOA CSO Network Secretariat  Published: 10/7/2021     FDA

VIP INVITATION
Dear Ambassador Ambassador
We are honored to invite you to participate in our 22nd Annual AfrICANDO 2021 and 19th Civil Society Organization (CSO) Session of the AGOA Forum. The joint event will take place October 7-8, 2021, at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC), 72nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33126, USA; select venues across Africa and virtually.
The theme of the event is The Impact of COVID -19 on US-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation: The Way Forward. The AfrICANDO/CSO Session of the AGOA Forum will consist of Seminars, B2B Matchmaking, Exhibits, and an Awards Ceremony. The purpose of the event is to assist CSOs and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in creating linkages with US businesses and leveling the playing field for US -Africa trade and economic cooperation. Discussions will also incorporate the ongoing negotiations between Kenya and the United States regarding the Free Trade Agreement and the onboarding of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Oct 6, 2021 08:15 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: The Impact of COVID- 19 Pandemic on U.S. – Africa Trade & Economic Cooperation
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
We look forward to your participation.
Best Regards,
Supporting Organizations
AGOA CSO Network Secretariat | 1200 G Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20005
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Solar For All CREF RFP Q&A Posted

Author: DCSEU Staff         Published: 10/5/21  DCSEU

Solar For All CREF RFP Q&A Posted
The DCSEU recently released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY 2022 Solar for All Community Renewable Energy Facilities (CREF) program. The DCSEU is soliciting bids to install community renewable energy facilities (CREFs) that will enable the DCSEU and the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) to extend the benefits of solar power to income-qualified District residents – including seniors, veterans, and residents and families with limited incomes. Selected bidders will receive incentives to install solar at community solar host sites with all output designated to income-qualified residents. The DCSEU has posted responses to all formal questions submitted via email as well as questions received during the Q&A of the CREF RFP info session. A link to these responses is below as well as links to the recording and presentation. The final deadline for proposals and financials is October 19th, 2021 by 5:00 pm ET.  Get started today and submit your proposal early!

  • Solar For All Community Renewable Energy Facility (CREF) RFP Info Session Recording & Presentation
  • Solar For All Community Renewable Energy Facility (CREF) RFP Q&A Responses

Submit Your Proposal Today! →

Solar for All is a program of the District Department of Energy & Environment that aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low to moderate income families in the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money. Learn more >> You’re receiving this email because you’ve subscribed to the DCSEU Newsletter.

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Melanin Solar Distributed Energy Introduction

Author: John Karanja   Published: 10/4/2021      MELANIN SOLAR

Whive IO, is an open-source blockchain protocol that extends the Bitcoin blockchain through enabling Trustless Rewards for Engineering Sustainable Solutions.

The past decade has seen the adoption of Bitcoin increasing exponentially globally. In Africa, Nigeria has become a World leader in peer-to-peer Bitcoin Transactions moving millions of dollars on an annual basis. Over the past 5 years BitHub Africa a Blockchain Accelerator based in Nairobi, Kenya has been driving adoption of this DISRUPTIVE …

Melanin Solar enables communities to produce their own solar energy for consumption and sell excess energy through a peer-to-peer model to under-served neighbors.

This will enable the deployment and distribution of efficient solar micro-grid eco-systems across Africa.

We are doing this by building out Africa’s distributed solar energy infrastructure which includes a set of tools, protocols and applications.

At the same time through our Academy we intend to reduce the huge shortage of engineers; who can be leveraged to develop, deploy and maintain our solution across Africa which has a high pool of potential talent with its huge youthful population.

About

Whive IO, is an open-source blockchain protocol that extends the Bitcoin blockchain through enabling Trustless Rewards for Engineering Sustainable Solutions.

Building on the success of Bitcoin the World’s most secure blockchain, the Whive community has set out to build a cryptographically secure blockchain protocol and Auxiliary Chain(AuxChain) that shall allow for building applications that trustlessly reward sustainable solutions.

The Whive Protocol is built with game-theory that rewards machines operating in regions in the World with high solar reliability indices(SRIs)!

Thus, the protocol shall incentivize engineers in the developing World to contribute to developing sustainable solutions to challenges facing their community using the following Engineering disciplines:

  • Network Engineering

  • Software Engineering

  • Protocol Engineering

The Whive protocol shall be supported by a suite of software tools built to incentivize multiple third-party individuals and institutions to collaborate together to execute and achieve this vision.

The Whive protocol is designed to unlock the potential of sustainable resources such as Solar Energy by enabling a distributed economy that is interoperable with the mainstream economy.

The Whive Protocol is being built, tested and deployed by a community of individuals and organizations around the World.

TELEGRAM CHAT


Introducing the Whive Protocol

Whive, is an open source & peer-to-peer blockchain protocol that is incentivizing the building of sustainable distributed solar energy solutions through Trustless Rewards

The Problem

The solar energy market is under developed and has a potential market capitalization of more than $10 Trillion globally

Enabling Cost Competitive Solar

The Whive protocol seeks to empower energy poor communities to actualize this potential by using Blockchain based tokenization and distributed computing to trustlessly reward Solar Energy adoption

Efficient ARM Focused CPU Mining

The Whive protocol’s mining is biased towards smaller mobile computing devices built on the ARM architecture to encourage fast & sustainable growth of the solar energy sector

20 Year PoW Mining Schedule

Mining of Whive Rewards ends in the year 2040 ensuring maximum distribution of solar micro-grid ecosystems across the World

Bitcoin Fork & Auxiliary Chain

18,500,000+ Whive Rewards can be claimed by Bitcoiners hodling 1 or more bitcoins starting February 2021, learn more at https://whive.io/claim

Rewarding Solar Energy Adoption

The protocol ensures that engineering machine-based distributed solar energy solutions using blockchain is highly rewarded algorithmically without human intervention

Transparent & Accountable

Transactions are recorded immutably on a transparent & public Blockchain accessible in real-time on the explorer linked below http://explorer.radi.network

Launched 02-02-2020

PRIMARY USECASE

MELANIN SOLAR DISTRIBUTED ENERGY SOLUTION BUILT ON WHIVE://

TRUSTLESS REWARDS FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ADOPTION

Open Source Protocol (MIT License) & Bitcoin Fork

John Wainaina Karanja
Co-Founder: BitHub.Africa & Melanin.Solar
Telegram: https://t.me/BitHubAfrica
Tel: (+254) 0725 274191 Skype: @BitHubAfrica
Twitter: @qwainainaX
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/qwainaina
Free Blockchain Course: http://Melanin.Academy

BUILD BACK BETTER REGIONAL CHALLENGE

 Author: EDA Staff     Published: 10/4/2021     EDA

 

UPERCHARGING LOCAL ECONOMIES

Ready to submit your application for the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge and still have questions? View our new Build Back Better Regional Challenge Office Hours webinar, the October 1 Build Back Better Regional Challenge panel discussion, and our updated FAQs, including important information about procurement restrictions and match funding requirements for proposed Phase 2 projects.

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks.

Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Logo

  • The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. These regions will have the opportunity to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more.
  • Phase 1: 50-60 regional coalitions of partnering entities will be awarded ~$500,000 in technical assistance funds to develop and support three to eight projects to grow a regional growth cluster.
  • Phase 2: EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25 million to $75 million, and up to $100 million, to implement those projects.
  • As part of the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment, EDA will allocate at least $100 million of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge funding to support coal communities.

Who Should Apply

EDA invites eligible applicants to form regional coalitions to apply for funding to implement a collection of three to eight distinct but related projects in their region, in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry cluster. Applicants should identify one key coordinating lead institution per regional cluster to lead the concept and projects into the implementation phase, while fostering collaboration and coordinating resources to ensure these investments have the greatest economic impact on our communities, regions, and the nation.

Coalition members eligible to apply for investment assistance for their region include a(n):

  • District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District
  • Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes
  • State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions
  • Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
  • Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State

Individuals or for-profit entities are not eligible.

Resources

Application Deadline

Phase 1 deadline:
October 19, 2021

Phase 2 deadline:
March 15, 2022

Five Midwest states to collaborate on electric vehicle charging network

Author:Rachel Frazin     Published: 10/1/21   THE HILL

Five Midwest states to collaborate on electric vehicle …

Five Midwest states announced Thursday that they will work together to increase  the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.

A memorandum of understanding signed by the governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin says the states will form the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition, or “REV Midwest.”

The state leaders said in a statement that the agreement is aimed at “competitively” positioning the region for federal funding opportunities and that the ultimate goal is to add jobs, lower emissions and improve public health.

“Our partnership will enable the Midwest to lead on electric vehicle adoption, reduce carbon emissions, spur innovation, and create good-paying jobs,” she added.

The governors their first goal is to focus on “interstate and regionally significant commercial corridors.”

Indiana is the only state in the group with a GOP governor.

The effort comes amid congressional efforts to bolster electric vehicle charging. The Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s awaiting a final vote in the House includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging, as well as $5 billion that would be distributed to states to spend on electric vehicle charging.

Dem divisions, Manchin demands highlight climate struggles

Author:  Nick Sobczyk     Published: 10/1/21       E&E DAILY

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) at the Capitol yesterday.

Democratic infighting on Capitol Hill this week underscores how difficult it will be to get the biggest climate bill in U.S. history across the finish line.

Climate policy has emerged as one of the toughest challenges in striking a deal on Democrats’ reconciliation package, with a chasm between Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and much of the rest of the party.

That divide crystallized yesterday after POLITICO reported a July 28 memo signed by Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) specifying a $1.5 trillion top line for reconciliation — much lower than House Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package — and the inclusion of natural gas, coal and carbon capture in clean energy tax policies (Greenwire, Sept. 30).

Manchin’s stance is threatening to derail the proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) that would likely be central to meeting President Biden’s emissions goals, frustrating Democrats who see reconciliation as one of the last chances to address climate change before it’s too late.

“It’s not anything that you can really negotiate away,” Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) said in an interview yesterday. “We either follow the science, or we condemn ourselves to higher costs and more catastrophes.”

The leaked document, which Manchin confirmed to reporters yesterday, inserted another twist into the ongoing fight in the House over the bipartisan infrastructure bill. It was initially scheduled for a vote yesterday, but progressives planned to sink it without a deal with Manchin and fellow moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on reconciliation. The vote was delayed after talks that dragged into yesterday evening.

The document includes several climate-related stipulations, namely that Manchin’s committee be charged with writing any clean energy standard and that if clean energy tax breaks are extended, fossil fuel tax benefits should be preserved.

Climate spending, it says, should be “fuel neutral,” and carbon capture and storage should allow natural gas and coal to “feasibly qualify” for energy tax policies. Manchin is also doubling down on his concerns with the CEPP, which he laid out in detail this week during an Energy and Natural Resources hearing (Greenwire, Sept. 28).

“I am just not for giving public companies, who have shareholders, public dollars for free when I know they’re going to be very profitable at the end whatever we do,” Manchin told reporters outside the Capitol yesterday.

“I’d love to have carbon capture, but we don’t have the technology because we really haven’t gotten to that point,” Manchin added. “And it’s so darn expensive that it makes it almost impossible.”

But House Democrats scoffed at the idea that coal and natural gas would get a place in a climate policy, even if some acknowledged a potential role for carbon capture.

“To those of us in the real world, coal and natural gas are not clean. They’re just not,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) told reporters. “So let’s stop pretending, and let’s get real.”

Castor similarly said, “That’s not clean energy,” when asked about the role of natural gas and coal. “You could include carbon capture with guard rails that you’re still meeting the clean energy goals, that you’re reducing carbon pollution and greenhouse gas pollution,” she added.

The House reconciliation bill, as currently written, includes $150 billion for the CEPP, essentially a clean energy standard redesigned to fit the budget process, and billions more for electric vehicles, the grid and a federal green bank.

The CEPP would offer grants to power providers that increase their share of clean generation by 4 percent each year and fine those that do not. The emissions threshold for what qualifies as clean power would be 0.1 metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent per megawatt-hour, ruling out natural gas and coal without carbon capture.

That structure could change as negotiations with Manchin continue, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, said this week. “But I want to keep it as strong as possible,” Tonko said.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), one of the program’s architects, and other Democratic senators have been lobbying Manchin on the CEPP for weeks. Smith said she and Manchin “continue to have conversations” about the CEPP, but she also warned that negotiations would ultimately have to please all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus.

“I just keep reinforcing to everybody that we have to come up with an agreement that 50 senators can agree with, not just one or two,” Smith said yesterday. “I’m looking for strong climate provisions across the board,” she added.

Another key negotiator with Manchin is Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is pushing a broad clean energy tax plan that includes a repeal of fossil fuel subsidies. Wyden said yesterday that he and the West Virginia Democrat are “having a number of conversations with respect to energy issues.”

For House progressives, the CEPP and other climate provisions will likely be key to their support for whatever agreement leadership can strike with Manchin and Sinema, but it remains unclear where, exactly, they would draw a line.

For the most part, they’ve left the door open to changes in overall spending, means testing for electric vehicle tax credits and even potentially shortening the duration of funding for some programs to bring down the top line.

“I’ve got to get the things that are critical for clean energy and climate, and there can’t be funny business,” Huffman said.

In the Senate, Manchin’s colleagues have refrained from chiding him publicly as negotiations continue. That’s not to mention Sinema, who has been more publicly opaque about her negotiating position and who issued a statement yesterday saying she would “not support a bill costing $3.5 trillion.”

But Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of ENR who has been pushing for the CEPP, quoted a 2009 op-ed by the late West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd in a tweet yesterday.

“To be part of any solution, one must first acknowledge a problem. To deny the mounting science of climate change is to stick our heads in the sand and say deal me out,” Byrd wrote as lawmakers debated the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. “West Virginia would be much smarter to stay at the table.”

Byrd, Heinrich said, “was onto something.”

Reporters Geof Koss and George Cahlink contributed.

The Energy Department Signs Up 125+ Local Governments to Fast-Track Solar Permits

Author: SETO Staff     Published: 9/28/21        SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Solar Energy Technologies Office

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 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SIGNS UP MORE THAN 125 LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO FAST-TRACK SOLAR PERMITS

After Successful SolarAPP+ Challenge, DOE Surpasses Initial Goal and Sets Ambitious New Target for Communities to Increase Solar Access in Less Than Six Months

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it has achieved its summer goal of signing up at least 125 communities for the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) tool—a free, DOE-developed web-based platform that allows local governments to instantly approve residential solar installation permits. Now that 127 localities are using SolarAPP+, DOE is announcing a new challenge: to get 60 more communities to improve their solar practices and get recognized through the DOE SolSmart program by March 2022. These efforts support the deployment of more solar energy to reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.

“Everyone has access to sunlight but not everyone has access to solar power—this Administration is committed to changing that,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s SolarAPP+ tool and SolSmart program are helping communities tear down barriers to clean energy and unlock the health and economic benefits of solar. We are challenging communities to increase solar deployment and providing them the tools they need to succeed.”

The cost of solar power has declined 80% over the past decade and local governments have tremendous influence over the prospects for solar energy growth. However, soft costs like unnecessary paperwork, red tape, and other burdensome requirements increase costs and discourage solar companies from moving to an area. By streamlining these requirements and taking other steps to encourage solar development, DOE is supporting communities to become “open for solar business.”

In June, DOE kicked off the Summer of Solar campaign with stops throughout the country and set a goal of getting 125 communities to sign up for SolarAPP+ by September 30. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed SolarAPP+ and will continue to engage new communities while expanding and updating the tool to include fast-tracked energy storage permitting and other resources.

DOE’s SolSmart program provides selected communities free technical assistance to help streamline processes—like planning, zoning, inspection, and training—that make it faster and easier to go solar. More than 400 communities in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have received SolSmart designations with stellar results. Nine million people—about 25% of the U.S. population—live in communities with a SolSmart designation. For example:

  • In West Palm Beach, Florida, SolSmart assistance helped them implement one-day permitting, resulting in a 50% increase in solar installations the next year.
  • In Boise, Idaho, residential solar permits increased by almost 50% in the year following their designation.
  • In Orlando, Florida, the number of solar contractors working in the state doubled since the city achieved SolSmart Gold designation.

Earlier this year, DOE announced a $10 million funding opportunity to expand SolSmart over the next five years and incorporate new solar-related technologies while emphasizing assistance for underserved communities.

In addition, DOE announced a new Solar Forecasting Prize, which will incentivize innovators to develop tools that predict how much energy solar power plants will generate days in advance, and the quarterfinalists for the Solar Desalination Prize Round 2. These prizes are part of DOE’s American-Made Challenges, a set of 25 prize competitions designed to seed new innovations in clean energy and support entrepreneurs to develop new American-made products.

Learn more about SolSmartSolarAPP+, the American-Made Challenges, and DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office.

AfrICANDO 2021 22nd Annual US – Africa Trade and Investment Conference/Trade Show

Author: FDA Staff      Published: 9/27/21     The Foundation for Democracy in Africa

Miami the Gateway to Africa!
Please join us at
AfrICANDO 2021
22nd Annual
US – Africa Trade and Investment Conference/Trade Show
October 6-8, 2021
AfrICANDOur 2021 will feature Seminars, B2B Matchmaking, Exhibits and an Awards Ceremony. The event will be hosted in Miami, Florida, USA; venues in Kinshasa, DRC and Lagos, Nigeria and virtually.  
Meet Our Distinguished Dignitaries & Speakers
Hon. Daniella Levine Cava Mayor, Miami-Dade County
Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Board of County Commissioners, Miami-Dade County
Vice Chairman Oliver G. Gilbert, III, Board of County Commissioners, Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Jean Monestime
 Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Keon Hardemon
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Sally A. Heyman
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Eileen Higgins
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Rebeca Sosa
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Raquel A. Regalado
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Kionne L. McGhee
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Javier D. Souto
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Joe A. Martinez
Miami-Dade County
Commissioner René  Garcia
Miami-Dade County
Juan Kuryla
Director and CEO
PortMiami
Ralph Cutié
Aviation Director
Miami International Airport (MIA)
David Whitaker
President and CEO
Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB)
Dennis C. Moss
Former Commissioner Miami-Dade County
Dr. Gershwin Blyden
Chairman
The Foundation for Democracy in Africa (FDA)
H. E. Hilda Suka-Mafudze
Ambassador, African Union Mission to the USA
Dr. Amadou A. Sall
CEO
Institut Pasteur de Dakar
Senegal
Rév. Dr. Amb. Milenge Mwenelwata
VP, AGOA Civil Society Organization Network (Francophone Africa) and 2nd VP de l’Eglise du Christ au Congo (ECC) Secrétaire Général
Fred Oladeinde, President The Foundation for Democracy in Africa (FDA) and Chair AGOA SO Network Secretariat
Vice Chair, AGOA Civil Society Organization Network (Anglophone Countries)
Robert Telchin
Director for African Affairs Executive Office of the President, USTR
Dame Adebola Williams
National President
Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC)
Mamadou Kane
Counselor Minister
Chief Economic Office
Embassy of Senegal
Ayodele Aderinwale Deputy Chief Coordinator Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library
Nigeria
Rashanda Johnson
Rashanda Johnson
Director of Client Development, Office of Development Credit, US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
Engr. Olusola Obadimu Director General
Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC)
Daisy Ramos-Winfield
President & CEO
Florida Export Finance Corporation (FEFC)
Joseph Bell
Manager, International Trade & Development Africa Trade Expansion
Enterprise Florida
Grace Adeyemo
Grace O. Adeyemo Principal Partner & Head Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practice Legal Icon Chambers Nigeria
Dr. Gloria S. McCutcheon Chair and Professor
Entomologist
Department of Biology
Claflin University
Ron Thomason
VP – Administration & Subject Matter Expert SecurityDynamics, LLC.
Anthony Okonmah
Executive Director
Africa Trade Development Center (ATDC)
Dave Peterson
Senior Director, Africa Programs, The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro
Director
Africa Trade Development Center (ATDC)
Lars Benson
Regional Director, Africa
Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)
Ileana Valle
International Development and Training Lead
Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security (WCAPS)
Dr. Nicholas Panasik Associate Professor of Biology, Claflin University
Shalonda Spencer Executive Director, Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security (WCAPS)
Learn Industry Secrets
AfrICANDO assists civil society organizations (CSOs), micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs), and the African Diaspora in creating linkages with US businesses and other stakeholders by:
  • Navigating US-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation using AGOA benefits
  • Reaching new markets
  • Expanding their distribution networks
  • Generating end client inquiries
  • Increasing their product/service visibility
  • Leveraging African Diaspora skills, investment and advocacy to fast track development
Events will be organized on-site at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center (MACC), in Miami, Florida, USA; select venues across Africa and virtually. Registrants and exhibitors unable to travel to the US can participate in person in Africa or virtually.
Additionally, workshops and other educational sessions will be conducted on the “margins” of the event for participants and exhibitors on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Conference Registration
Includes Seminars, B2B Matchmaking, Expo, Awards Ceremony, and select meals.
$100.00 (members)
$125.00 (non-members)
Conference Registration/Exhibit Table
Includes 2 Conference Registrations and Exhibit Table. Exhibit Table includes one 6 foot skirted table, two chairs, a wastebasket, and a vendor sign. Conference Registration includes Seminars, B2B Matchmaking, Awards Ceremony, and select meals.
$250.00 (members)
$300.00 (non-members)
Virtual Conference Registration
Includes Seminars, B2B Matchmaking, Expo, and Awards Ceremony.
Complimentary (members)
$30.00 (non-members)
Hotel Accommodations
A block of rooms have been reserved at group rates at the Conference Hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC). To reserve your room, click on the reserve button below .
IMPORTANT DEADLINES !!!
(Please take note)
All Exhibitors need to Register, and Pay for their Exhibit Table by
September 8, 2021 (Export ready companies and Government agencies only)
Export-ready firms contact us not later than August 20, 2021 to get assistance with B2B Matchmaking.

Bowser Extends D.C.’s Ticket Amnesty Program to Dec. 31

Author: James Wright        Published:  99/27/21     WI

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that the city’s ticket amnesty program has been extended to Dec. 31.

Bowser said the program, which was set to end Thursday, allows motorists to pay, without penalty, any outstanding tickets for parking, photo enforcement and minor moving violations.

“As the District continues to recover from the pandemic, we know this is a program that is helping residents — many who have had to make difficult decisions — get a fresh start and get back on track,” the mayor said. “Whether it’s the Ticket Amnesty Program or STAY DC, we are encouraging all residents in need of financial assistance to apply for these programs today.”

D.C. Deputy Mayor of Operations and Infrastructure Lucinda Babers said under the program, tickets owed “since the beginning of time” can be paid. Plus, eligible drivers only have to pay original ticket amounts, with any penalties waived.

However, starting on Jan. 1, penalties for late payments will be reinstated.

Since the program’s launch on June 1, more than 32,000 drivers have settled $4 million worth of tickets. Residents and non-residents facing financial hardship can contact the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s Central Collection Unit for payment options.

Biden’s EPA orders a slash in climate-warming chemicals used in air-conditioning and refrigeration

Author: Emma Newburger   Published: 9/27/21     CNBC

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the EPA's budget request on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 9, 2021.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the EPA’s budget request on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 9, 2021.

KEY POINTS
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering a sharp cutback in the the use and production of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, the climate-warming chemicals widely used in air-conditioning and refrigeration.
  • The move is the Biden administration’s first major regulatory action to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The agency will start phasing down the chemicals next year and gradually curb production and importation by 85% over the next 15 years.

The Environmental Protection Agency is sharply curbing the use and production of hydrofluorocarbons, the climate-warming chemicals widely used in air-conditioning and refrigeration.

The move is the Biden administration’s first major regulatory action to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also the first time the federal government has set national standards on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at heating up the planet. The EPA said the rule could avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.

The agency will begin regulating the chemicals next year, and will force industry to curb production and imports by 85% over the next 15 years, officials said during a virtual press briefing on Wednesday. The EPA proposed the rule in March and will finalize it on Thursday.

The agency’s rule is expected to reduce the equivalent of 4.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by mid-century, or roughly three years’ worth of emissions from the country’s power sector at 2019 levels, according to estimates from the EPA.

Such a reduction would help the Biden administration’s pledge to curb U.S. emissions by in half by 2030 and reach a net-zero economy by 2050. The president issued an executive order in January that requested Congress to ratify the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which aims for the phase-down of HFCs.

White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy on Wednesday called the agency’s rule a victory for combatting climate change and securing U.S. jobs.

“As we move in this direction, we are also opening up a huge opportunity for American industries,” McCarthy said during the briefing. “Reducing HFCs is a huge climate success story.”

Emissions from HFCs rose between 2018 and 2019, according to the EPA, as demand for air-conditioning and refrigeration soared during historic high temperatures in the U.S.

Some U.S. manufacturers have already moved to more climate-friendly refrigerants, and some major chemical companies have supported the EPA’s proposal to phase down HFCs, including The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, a trade group that represents manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the new limits will help the country transition to more energy-efficient cooling technologies while creating new jobs.

“This action reaffirms what President Biden always says: When he thinks about climate, he thinks about jobs,” Regan said during the briefing. “His administration knows that what’s good for the environment is good for the economy.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/23/bidens-epa-orders-slash-in-climate-warming-hydrofluorocarbons-hfcs.html#:~:text=for%20climate%20finance-,Closing%20Bell,WATCH%20LIVE,-UP%20NEXT%20%7C%20Fast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democrats Prep Carbon Tax Option to Pay for Spending Bill By Laura Davison, Ari Natter, and Jennifer A Dlouhy

Author: Laura Davison, Ari Natter and Jennifer A Douhy   Published: 9/24/21       Bloomberg

Senate Democrats are developing a carbon-tax proposal that could potentially be used to offset some of the costs of a sweeping social-spending bill as well as direct cash payments to households, according to a key lawmaker.

“It’s projected that making polluters pay — when combined with clean energy tax credits — would lower the cost of clean electricity for Americans,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden said in a statement to Bloomberg News Friday. “I’ve worked on this for years, and have continued to develop the proposal as part of my menu of options for the caucus.”

A “substantial portion” of the revenue generated from a carbon tax would be disbursed to Americans in the form of cash payments, Wyden said. That could help increase public support for the tax, but would also mean less money to offset the cost of the up-to-$3.5 trillion so-called reconciliation bill.

That bill, incorporating the bulk of President Joe Biden’s long-term economic agenda, includes overhauling climate investment and directing money into health and education programs. Negotiations on are ongoing on Capitol Hill.

The New York Times earlier reported Wyden’s plans to pursue a carbon tax.

Industry’s Stance

Momentum for such a levy is growing as a way to address climate change. And economists have long favored a carbon tax as a straightforward approach to putting a price on the greenhouse-gas emissions.

Advocates say it would encourage companies and consumers to pollute less. The American Petroleum Institute, the oil-industry trade group that counts Exxon Mobil Corp. among its members, and the Chamber of Commerce have both endorsed a price on carbon, which could take the form of a levy.

But industry supporters generally want the carbon tax imposed as a substitute for existing regulations on greenhouse gases — a tradeoff that is unlikely to be part of the plan Democrats are assembling.

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Though several Senate supporters have been eyeing the reconciliation bill as a potential pathway for the tax measure for more than a year, it’s gained momentum over the last several weeks, according to a person familiar with negotiations on the issue. The tax is appealing because of its role as a potential revenue-raiser, but lawmakers are also working to ensure that a significant chunk of the proceeds goes back to middle- and low-income families.

A carbon tax could draw more support as a way to replace other revenue raisers, assuage moderates’ concerns about the size of the package and give the Biden administration tangible proof of robust U.S. plans to slash greenhouse-gas emissions before a critical UN summit in five weeks.

Still, a tax that could increase the costs of driving, flying and consumer goods is likely to face stiff political resistance from some quarters, and Republicans previously have voted against the concept of placing a tax on carbon dioxide. Some moderate Republicans, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah have signaled they are receptive to the idea.

GOP opposition wouldn’t be able to nix the proposal, because Democrats aim to pass the tax-and-spending bill on a party-line vote. Still, Democrats have tight majorities in both chambers, meaning that they need nearly every member in the House and all 50 caucus members in the Senate to support the legislation.

Coal Country

Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who represents coal-reliant West Virginia, would be a key consideration in the drafting of a carbon tax. Manchin has been non-committal on the issue, but voted with members of his party on a messaging amendment earlier this year in support of such a tax.

Supporters argue that a domestic carbon tax would have to be paired with a levy on imports — known as a carbon border adjustment tax — to protect U.S. workers in energy-intensive industries and to ensure that companies don’t shift manufacturing out of the U.S. to nations with lax environmental regimes.

National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy Bloomberg in July that while “it’s not off the table,” there are strategies other than a carbon border adjustment tax that may be more beneficial. Even so, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on Wednesday dangled the prospect of a tariff on carbon-intensive imports if other nations don’t limit their emissions and reliance on coal-fired power to fuel cheap manufacturing.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-24/democrats-prep-a-carbon-tax-as-option-to-pay-for-biden-

Regulatory Keynote: The Honorable Jennifer Granholm Speaks LIVE at the Energy Policy Summit

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The Honorable Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy will be giving a Regulatory Keynote at our annual Energy Policy Summit. This virtual conference provides an impactful forum for our vast network of energy professionals.

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The U.S Secretary of Energy speaks live on October 20th, 2021

Don’t miss this Signature Session

Register Now!
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Home Owners Dreams Defferred on D.C.s Talbort Street SE

Author: Austin R. Cooper, Jr. Editor          Published: 9/27/21          Word In Black WI

WELCOME TO OUR HOUSE D.C.
In this edition, three condominium owners at River East at Grandview Estates II on Talbert Street Southeast share the challenges they are confronting due to structural issues that have rendered their homes uninhabitable. Each homeowner participated in the District’s Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) and feel their American dreams of homeownership have been shattered through no fault of their own.
Austin R. Cooper, Jr., Managing Editor
By Austin R. Cooper, Jr., Reporter, Managing Editor, Our House D.C.
Five years ago, Brittany Bennett and her two young sons lived in a shelter for the homeless on New York Avenue. And while she often dreamed of purchasing a home, she also spent many sleepless nights wondering how her dream could become a reality.
Homeownership meant “stability” – something she badly craved for her children and herself.
So, as she said, she held on to her dream and began to search for ways that would allow her to begin building “generational wealth.”
With patience and great resolve, she would discover that help was available and she took full advantage of it.
“I went from being homeless for three years to becoming a homeowner within one,” she said proudly.
Her path to homeownership first took shape in 2017 when a loan officer told Bennett about the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), which is managed by the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). It provides interest-free loans and closing costs assistance to qualified applicants to purchase single-family homes, condominiums, or cooperative units in the District.
Since 1978, HPAP has served more than 7,700 District households and provided over $210 million in down payment and closing costs assistance.
Bennett worked with her loan officer while holding down three jobs to better her chances of meeting mortgage eligibility requirements. She went through the process, which she describes as “tedious and stressful,” before becoming eligible in the fall of 2018 when she submitted her application. Bennett succeeded and said she remembers being elated upon realizing that she had grown one enormous step closer to fulfilling her dream of being a D.C. homeowner.
That December, when she first saw her 3-bedroom condominium in Southeast at the River East at Grandview Estates II on Talbert Street, she said she knew “it was everything I wanted.”
With keys in hand, she and her sons moved in a few days after Jan. 31, 2019. But within just a few short months, her dream became a nightmare.