The City of Portland is launching a broad sustainability initiative to reduce the use of fossil fuels citywide. The City’s program, Electrify Everything!, would partner with a vendor to provide residents and businesses with solar panels and home heating appliances at significantly reduced costs, minimizing energy costs and our collective carbon footprint.
An RFP seeking energy efficiency providers and solar partners was released on Friday, September 9, 2021. It requests that providers be able to provide equipment such as solar panels, air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and EV chargers to residents and businesses at reduced costs.
Since heating and cooling buildings is responsible for approximately 60% of carbon emissions in Portland and emissions from vehicles represent another 30%, empowering individuals to take action is vital to the success of One Climate Future, the climate action plan passed by the Council in 2018.
City Manager Jon Jennings says, “Many people are interested in energy efficiency and renewable energy but do not know how to get started. Electrify Everything! will make it easier and more affordable for residents and businesses to cut energy costs and embrace innovative, climate-friendly solutions.”
Ensuring that low-income residents are able to participate is a vital part of Electrify Everything!. City staff will work with Efficiency Maine and other agencies to ensure that low income residents are able to participate and benefit from the program and provide all participants with objective information about rebates, incentives, tax credits, and other financial assistance that might be available.
“Electric appliances do more than reduce carbon emissions,” notes Sustainability Director Troy Moon. “Air source heat pumps provide efficient heat but they can also cool buildings, which is more important than ever as summer temperatures continue to rise. Heat pump water heaters cost less to operate than other models and they also act as a dehumidifier, eliminating the need for a separate appliance.”
Electrify Everything! builds on the success of weatherize and solarize campaigns in communities across the country. This model works because participants pool their buying power to lower the cost of equipment such as solar panels and air source heat pumps. It offers program participants many ways to learn about the equipment and technology, meet interested neighbors, and get answers from knowledgeable experts. The City’s RFP will solicit discounted pricing from qualified installers to reduce the cost to participants and a program website will provide residents with an easy way to learn about their options, the generous rebates available, as well as financing options.
Companies interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to contact the Purchasing Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about the RFP.