October 2023 Newsletter
ICAST Experts Weigh In: How to Bring Quality Retrofits to the Multifamily Market
By Monica Paici | Director of Marketing
Ms. Paici supports the organization by developing marketing plans, implementing promotional programs for ICAST's work, and overseeing the design and distribution of ICAST publications.
If you have been following our coverage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), you know that ICAST has been working to educate housing and energy industry leaders on how they can ensure a fair slice of the federal funds reach the multifamily affordable housing (MFAH) market. Federal, state, and local agencies have been inundated with money that they need to spend quickly. Most still perceive serving the MFAH sector as a prohibitively complex task.
However, many best practices for overcoming the complexities (both real and perceived) are already there. They have been documented and publicized by entities such as the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, GRID Alternatives, National Community Solar Partnership, and others. Read more here
New England's largest energy utility, Eversource, has parted ways with the American Gas Association — a powerful industry group that environmentalists say has been instrumental in blocking efforts to address climate change around the country.
Eversource spokesman Chris McKinnon told WBUR the utility canceled its membership with the gas industry group in early 2022 as part of a broader, strategic effort to prioritize “decarbonization” and reduce planet-warming emissions. Read more here
The Green Jobs Network, now celebrating its 15th anniversary, has developed a “Climate Jobs Map” to help job seekers identify green and climate investments and jobs in their community.
The initial version of this map focuses on clean energy, energy storage, and electric vehicle manufacturing facilities and includes 450 new or expanded clean energy manufacturing facilities totaling over $160 billion in announced private and public sector investments. Read more here
ICAST Policy Blog
Environmental Protection Agency Updates Solar for All Funding
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated the Solar for All (SFA) Notice of Funding Opportunity. The interested applicants requested over $38 billion in funding from the SFA competition. To maximize access to solar energy for low-income (LI) and disadvantaged communities, EPA has revised the maximum award amount an applicant may request. They have also extended the application deadline to October 12, 2023, for applicants to adjust their applicants. The different sized programs and award ranges depend on the total population of disadvantaged census tracts identified by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) in the program geography.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces Grants for Electric Grid Modernization
Under President Biden's Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced in the 7th round of funding nine states and five tribal nations will receive a combined total of $125 million in the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants. Since May 2023, DOE has distributed more than $580.5 million in grants, aiming to modernize the electric grid to reduce the impacts of climate-driven extreme weather and natural disasters while ensuring power sector reliability. Read more here
The Pueblo of Zia, a federally recognized Tribe situated atop a basalt mesa in north-central New Mexico, has retained ICAST to determine the feasibility of solar installations on their land.
ICAST will explore two types of solar systems:
- a 5 MW community solar farm on tribal land, and
- smaller solar systems to be installed behind-the-meter on Zia Pueblo’s buildings, such as the Zia Enrichment Library, the T’siya Enrichment Center, the Health and Wellness Center, the Tribal Administration Building, and the Zia Pueblo Senior Center.
ICAST is thrilled to support the Pueblo of Zia in its aim to achieve increased energy equity and economic and energy resilience for its residents. Read more here
NH&RA, October, 2023
One of the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) most significant budget items is the money for tax credits, which could ultimately be worth over $500 billion. Key credits for multifamily affordable housing include:
- New Energy Efficient Homes Credit (45L);
- Solar and Energy Storage Investment Tax Credit (ITC);
- Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit (30C); and
- Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction (179D).
IRA significantly increased the credit and deduction amounts that can be secured for qualifying projects, only if those projects meet the Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wages and apprenticeship requirements. Read more here
ICAST Reaches 100 Employees
Brad Varnedoe | HR Generalist
Mr. Varnedoe supports the organization by assisting in employee recruitment, onboarding, and retention.
In September of 2023, ICAST reached a milestone of 100 active employees. Some have been on deck since ICAST’s infancy, and others joined during the period of rapid growth we’ve been sustaining for the last six years. Regardless of their start dates, we’re grateful to these individuals for their collaborative and entrepreneurial spirits, their competence and drive, and above all—their passion for ICAST’s mission. They have grown our organization significantly and helped us evolve the scope and nature of the work we do in underserved communities. Read more here
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