Menlo Park is receiving $4.5 million from the state of California to fund the city’s electrification program in partnership with BlocPower, aiming to make the switch from natural gas more affordable to residents.
Mayor Betsy Nash describes BlocPower, a climate technology company that has partnered with the city of Menlo Park, as a "one-stop-shop" for everything that residents need to electrify their homes, from organizing incentives and contractors to providing equipment at a lower cost. BlocPower also provides workforce training to create jobs locally and provide the labor needed to complete the project.
“I’m extremely excited about what the BlocPower partnership can do for Menlo Park,” said Nash. “The state investment in our community will make a huge difference in accelerating electrification of homes.”
It is all part of Menlo Park’s plan to become completely carbon-neutral by 2030 through voluntary electrification of homes and buildings to end the use of natural gas. State Sen. Josh Becker brought forward the idea to provide Menlo Park with $4.5 million from the state budget in order to assist residents in electrification conversion projects. The funding would lower the cost for residents and go directly to helping low and middle-income homeowners in converting gas-powered equipment and appliances (like heaters, stoves and clothes dryers) in their homes.
Several City Council members expressed their gratitude to Becker for the funding, and their eagerness to work toward electrifying the city of Menlo Park. Council member Drew Combs stressed that he supported the voluntary aspect of Menlo Park’s electrification process.
Menlo Park's city facilities already run entirely on renewable energy through Peninsula Clean Energy, so moving the rest of the city to all-electric buildings is a way of further decarbonizing the city. Menlo Spark, a local nonprofit, is collaborating with the city in an effort to raise up to $35 million to further reduce the cost for low- to moderate-income households.
With the help of BlocPower, Menlo Park hopes to electrify 15 buildings in 2022, 100 in 2023 and 1,000 or more in 2024 and the years following. Menlo Park’s electrification program is voluntary but seeks to assist the residents in the process.