Portland, Ore., October 26, 2023
– Earth Advantage is pleased to announce it has been awarded $3.5 million in grant funding to serve as a regional Program Administrator for Oregon Department of Energy’s (ODOE) Community Heat Pump Deployment program. In this role, Earth Advantage will oversee the distribution and installation of heat pumps in environmental justice communities within the Portland-Metro, Mid Valley and South Valley regions of the state. Environmental justice communities include communities of color, communities experiencing lower incomes, rural communities, coastal communities, communities with limited infrastructure, and other communities traditionally underrepresented in public processes and adversely harmed by environmental and health hazards, such as seniors, youth and persons with disabilities.
In 2022 the Oregon Legislature passed SB 1536 in order to provide relief in the face of the growing frequency of extreme heat events. The Community Heat Pump Deployment Program was established as a result of that bill, which tasks ODOE with awarding grants to provide financial assistance throughout the state for the purchase and installation of heat pumps. Heat pumps are becoming an increasingly popular choice for home heating and cooling because they are more efficient and use less energy than other methods.
As a Program Administrator for the Community Heat Pump Deployment program, Earth Advantage will partner with a network of organizations to deliver heat pump installation services. These partners include: Eugene Water & Electric Board; Emerald PUD; Lincoln Central PUD; Springfield Utility Board; Consumers Power, Inc.; Lane Electric; Homes For Good; Community Services Consortium (Benton/Lincoln/Linn Counties); Yamhill County Weatherization; Multnomah County; and Washington County. Partner organizations will conduct community outreach to identify qualified recipients and install the heat pumps in eligible homes.
“The Oregon Department of Energy is proud to partner with regional administrators like Earth Advantage to get energy efficient, potentially life-saving heat pumps into Oregon homes,” said Janine Benner, ODOE Director. “We appreciate Earth Advantage’s expertise and commitment to helping community members, particularly those vulnerable to extreme heat and cold, improve the comfort and safety of their homes.”
The Community Heat Pump Deployment program is the second heat relief program that Earth Advantage has been selected to administer. In 2022, Earth Advantage was named the Equipment Purchasing Partner for Cooling Portland
. That program, funded by the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF), was established to provide portable cooling units to vulnerable Portlanders in the wake of the 2021 heat dome that killed 69 people in Multnomah County alone. Under Earth Advantage’s administration, the program has installed more than 7,000 units to date.
“The extreme weather events occurring over the past few years have reinforced for us the knowledge that our most vulnerable community members are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change,” said David Heslam, executive director at Earth Advantage. “We’re honored to play a role in connecting members of these communities with resources to help mitigate those impacts, and we’re eager to begin working with ODOE and our partner organizations to provide more people throughout the state with equipment that can help them more efficiently and affordably heat and cool their homes.”
Support from Partner Organizations
“Heat pumps are an excellent technology for providing efficient and affordable home heating and cooling. We are thrilled to see ODOE provide funding for connecting communities with access to this technology and are excited to be a part of the deployment process.”
- Juan J Serpa Munoz, Business Line Manager, Eugene Water & Electric Board
“CAPO is pleased that Earth Advantage is working with a number of Community Action Agencies and other Community-Based Organizations to direct state funding for critical heating and cooling equipment to Oregon’s most vulnerable populations.”
- Benedikt Springer, Utility Policy Analyst, Community Action Partnership of Oregon (CAPO)
“The Community Heat Pump Deployment Program will help provide low and moderate income residents in our community with much-needed relief from extreme weather conditions while also reducing pollution and promoting a just energy transition. We look forward to partnering with Earth Advantage to kick off installations in our community.”
- John Wasiutynski, Director, Multnomah County Office of Sustainability
About Earth Advantage:
Earth Advantage is a non-profit organization helping to advance a more informed and humane housing market. We work to ensure the US housing market recognizes the elements of homes that create climate risk and values the characteristics of homes that provide climate solutions. Our teams partner with entities across the country to develop tangible, systemic solutions for climate-friendly housing. For more information visit www.earthadvantage.org