Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Bassett Avocado Heights Advanced Energy Community (BAAEC)?
The Bassett Avocado Heights Advanced Energy Community (BAAEC for short, pronounced “bay-sea”) is an exciting opportunity for the community to produce renewable energy locally, save money on energy bills, reduce pollution, and demonstrate how California can transition to a clean energy future. This project includes energy efficiency, generating renewable energy, and other new energy technology to meet energy needs of local residents and support grid reliability and safety. BAAEC is funded by an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Challenge grant from the California Energy Commission.
What type of programs does BAAEC offer?
BAAEC is a holistic energy project that includes four main features: Advanced Homes, Community Solar, Energy Hub, and Clean Commuters. In addition to these primary project features, there are many ways to get involved, such as youth advocacy, workforce development, and participation in our advisory committee. In 2021, BAAEC is launching with our Advanced Homes and Community Solar programs.
Who is eligible for these programs? Do I have to be a resident of Bassett or Avocado Heights to participate?
All community members will be able to use the Energy Hub and Clean Commuters services located at Evergreen Baptist Church. For example, if you work in the community you will be able to stop by to borrow an electric vehicle for local trips or to charge your electric vehicle. Although you must be a resident of Bassett or Avocado Heights to participate in Advanced Homes or Community Solar, there are lots of other ways to get involved in BAAEC. Learn more about eligibility requirements for Advanced Homes and Community Solar here, or learn about other ways to get involved by attending one of our upcoming events!
Is participation free?
Enrollment and participation in Advanced Homes and Community Solar is free. Even better, both programs will save you money on your energy bills! Our free services are possible thanks to funding from an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Challenge grant from the California Energy Commission.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
You can contact us at any time at email@example.com or at 626-709-6195. We will respond within one business day!
Has this type of project been done in any other cities?
There are other advanced energy communities being developed across the state, such as the EcoBlock project in Berkeley and the Peninsula Advanced Energy Community project in southern San Mateo County. However, this advanced energy community project is uniquely designed for Bassett and Avocado Heights!
Why is this project important?
BAAEC will help our community save on energy costs and lower electricity rates! Beyond these financial benefits, this innovative project will provide local renewable energy and will break down the barriers and complexity of community-scale energy projects.
How is this project funded?
BAAEC is funded by a California Energy Commission (CEC) grant.
Who is in charge of this project?
The Energy Coalition, a California nonprofit organization, is leading this project and is working with a variety of project partners. Learn more about our partners here.
How else can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved in your BAAEC project and we welcome all participation from the community. You can join one of our programs, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or check out one of our upcoming events.
Where can I find information about upcoming events and meetings?
You can visit the homepage of our website for information on our latest events. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for all the latest news and updates.
What is the Youth Advocacy Program?
The Youth Advocacy Program is an educational opportunity focused on involving, informing and engaging middle school, high school, and college students that attend Bassett Unified School District and nearby college institutions. The Youth Advocates (YAs) will become energy stewards and leaders by encouraging their community members to save energy and participate in BAAEC. If you would like more information about joining our Youth Advocacy Program (coming soon!), contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Leadership Academy Program?
The Leadership Academy is a free training program empowering residents in the Avocado Heights and Bassett community to become energy champions in their advanced energy community. Participants will learn about energy conservation, environmental justice, local advocacy, and more. If you would like more information about joining once the Leadership Academy launches, contact us at email@example.com.
What is Advanced Homes?
Advanced Homes is a free sustainable home upgrade program focused exclusively on our community of Bassett and Avocado Heights. Using grant money from the California Energy Commission, we’re partnering with fifty lucky homeowners to create a network of Advanced Homes, decked out with the newest clean energy technologies like solar panels, battery storage, and heat pumps.
What are the qualifications for enrollment?
To be eligible for free Advanced Homes upgrades, you must be a homeowner in the Bassett or Avocado Heights neighborhoods. To make sure clean energy is accessible to everyone, we also have an income qualification. If you participate in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program or the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program, you’ll likely meet our requirements too. Even if you’re not sure if this sounds like you, join the waitlist and we will talk you through all the ins and outs of program participation!
How long does it complete the application process? When will I know if I qualify?
Join the waitlist and we will check back in with you in Summer 2021 to get your application process started. The process includes a phone conversation with our team, a roof inspection, and submitting documentation (e.g. energy bill, proof of residence), and we expect it will take a few weeks to complete.
What is a prosumer?
A prosumer is someone who both produces and consumes energy. Participants in Advanced Homes will become energy “prosumers”!
Are the installments and equipment free?
If I don’t qualify for Advanced Energy Homes are there other programs available?
Yes, if you do not qualify for our Advanced Energy Homes program, you may be eligible for our Community Solar program.
What is Community Solar?
BAAEC’s Community Solar program is a 1.2 megawatt solar installation at the Evergreen Baptist Church that will provide affordable, local renewable electricity to the Bassett and Avocado Heights community. In general, community solar refers to any local solar facility where the power generated is shared by community subscribers who receive credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power that is generated.
What are the benefits of Community Solar?
BAAEC’s Community Solar program will provide participants with 100% local renewable electricity at a 20%+ discount while supporting local workforce development. Community Solar gives renters and people in multifamily residences the chance to get local renewable electricity.
Who can enroll?
Residents in Bassett and Avocado Heights are eligible to participate. This program is designed to support underserved residents, so people who are enrolled in or eligible for public assistance programs (such as CalFresh/SNAP, Medi-Cal/Medicaid, and WIC) will be prioritized.
What are the qualifications for enrollment?
To qualify, you must be a resident in Bassett or Avocado Heights, participate in Clean Power Alliance (don’t worry—if you aren’t already, we can help get you set up), and meet income requirements. Typically, if you’re enrolled in or eligible for public assistance programs (such as CalFresh/SNAP, Medi-Cal/Medicaid, and WIC), you’re qualified for priority participation in Community Solar.
How do I join?
BAAEC’s Community Solar program is launching in early 2022. In the meantime, we encourage you to join the waitlist!
Will my credit score be checked when enrolling in Community Solar?
No, credit scores will not be checked when enrolling in Community Solar.
Do I need to have solar panels installed to participate in this program?
No, you do not need to have solar panels installed to participate in Community Solar. Program participants can enjoy the benefits of solar without having to install panels on their own home, which makes Community Solar a great option for renters or those who do not live in single family homes!
What is the Energy Hub?
BAAEC’s Energy Hub is a solar and battery storage system at Evergreen Baptist Church that will provide a community center with reliable backup power in case of emergencies or extreme heat days.
Do I have to belong to Evergreen Baptist Church to use the Energy Hub?
Nope! The Energy Hub will be open to all community members and has no religious affiliation.
How did Evergreen Baptist Church become a partner?
Evergreen Baptist Church was selected based on its large facility that is ideal for solar installation. The BAAEC team also looked at local libraries, parks, and schools. The church was selected and is excited to be part of this community project!
When will the Energy Hub be built?
The Energy Hub will be completed in fall 2022.
What is Clean Commuters?
Clean Commuters offers a variety of resources to help you quickly and affordably get where you need to go, without the tailpipe emissions. It includes electric vehicle chargers (for free!) at Evergreen Baptist Church, vanpooling, and local transit options using zero emissions vehicles.
What are the benefits of Clean Commuters?
Clean Commuters will improve local air quality, provide affordable zero emission alternatives to individual vehicle ownership, and expand access to affordable zero emission vehicle services. Clean Commuters will provide electric transportation for the community, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and helping California to meet its ambitious climate, air quality, and economic development goals.
What are electric vehicle chargers?
Electric vehicle (EV) chargers are equipment that connect electric vehicles to the electrical grid, acting as outlets that provide the necessary power to recharge electric vehicles.
What is vanpooling?
Vanpooling is a type of rideshare service for larger groups of people to carpool (typically to and from work). BAAEC’s Clean Commuters vanpool uses a zero emissions van.
What is microtransit?
Microtransit is on demand transportation that uses software so you can request a ride in real-time and shuttles are routed to get you where you need to go.
How do I sign up for Clean Commuters?
We love your enthusiasm! BAAEC’s Clean Commuters program is coming in fall 2021. Once we launch, links for sign-up will be available on this site. Stay tuned for more information!
Check out the useful energy resources from our partners and other leading energy organizations below!
ENERGY STAR’s suggested actions to help you get started saving energy at home. Create your own My ENERGY STAR account and see how your simple actions can make a big difference.
Everyday expenses affect some households more than others. Fortunately, there are two programs that may lower your energy bills: California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA).
Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver guide for practical energy-saving tips (English/Spanish versions available).
Flex alerts are voluntary calls to save electricity, typically in the summer when hot weather pushes up energy demand as it reaches available capacity. Sign up for alerts to do your part to prevent blackouts.
Did you know Bassett and Avocado Heights residents have the option to use a locally operated electricity provider? Clean Power Alliance is a community choice aggregator that offers a variety of clean power options.
Learn low-cost indoor air quality best practices based on research conducted by UCLA, ActiveSGV, and The Energy Coalition.