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SLO County nonprofits receive grant to promote climate equity

Rachel Showalter

The Diversity Coalition SLO County (DCSLOC), R.A.C.E. Matters, Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success (CCCUSS) and BlocPower have been awarded a $340,000 grant by TECH Clean California.

The program provides grants and incentives to promote clean energy technologies and reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. This grant is meant to promote carbon neutrality by 2045 by encouraging the adoption of clean space and water heating technologies in homes.

But this grant is about more than just clean energy.

It also pushes for climate equity by providing everyone access to energy-efficient resources.

“What we're really interested in doing is bridging the equity gap, when it comes to climate solutions, for communities that have been historically left in the margins,” DCSLOC Executive Director Rita Casaverde said.

TECH Clean California provides incentives for reducing household energy bills, such as solar panels and other climate-friendly home improvements.

BIPOC and low to middle-income households often face barriers to accessing clean energy incentives, even though they’re disproportionately affected by climate change. Through this grant, the DCSLOC and its partners plan to develop inclusive marketing and educational materials to reach these communities.

“We really want to get to all the corners of SLO County and make sure that everyone gets a chance to know more about climate solutions and really to know how they can reduce their energy bills if possible.” Casaverde said.

The idea for this grant came during the Green and Healthy Homes Roundtable organized by the City of SLO in 2022.

San Luis Obispo’s Sustainability Manager Chris Read said the grant is a good match for the city’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce emissions from existing buildings by 50% by 2030.

“The city looks forward to seeing what our community partners do with the grant funding, as it closely aligns with our major city goals,”

To learn more about the climate equity grant, you can visit diversityslo.org.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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