Quick Start Grants

2022 Solicitation

In 2021, TECH awarded the first round of Quick Start Grants to eleven recipients, described in the 2021 QSG Recipients section below. These projects will be implemented throughout 2022.

A second solicitation, for projects implemented in 2023, will open to applications in June 2022.

Quick Start Grants Target Areas & Priorities

This second round of grants is seeking to engage more deeply in investigating ongoing challenges deploying heat pumps in low-income and energy burdened households and in historically underserved areas. While the solicitation is open to all types of projects and approaches to grow the market for heat pump space and water heating, this solicitation will place particular emphasis on identifying projects that fit into the following focus areas:

  • Using heat pumps to lower household energy burden
  • Improving the customer experience and satisfaction with heat pumps
  • Helping customers plan for future fuel switching
  • Innovative outreach, education, or marketing strategies
  • Projects taking place in market segments that face formidable barriers to building electrification or that have been historically underserved by clean energy or energy efficiency programs, for example:
      • Low-income households
      • Disadvantaged communities
      • Renters or multi-family housing
      • Customers on unregulated fuels (e.g., wood or propane)
      • Mobile or manufactured housing
      • Customers whose primary language is not English
      • Rural or remote communities
  • Projects led or implemented by community-based organizations

In this round, $350,000 will be awarded, with 6-12 grants likely. Project work should begin in January 2023 and must be completed within 16 months of contract award.

Applicants must use the downloadable application form to apply. Applicants will be expected to provide regular updates and a final report on their work. Selected projects will be subject to terms and conditions within the Quick Start Grant Recipient Agreement included on the webpage and in the Appendix of the downloadable application form.

Quick Start Grant Timeline

Date Deadline/Activity
May 30, 2022 2022 Quick Start Grant solicitation open
Mid-June 2022 (TBD) Informational webinar
June 30, 2022 Applicant questions due by 5:00 PM PDT
July 31, 2022 Applications due by 5:00 PM PDT
August 31, 2022 Finalists notified
Mid-September 2022 Finalist interviews
September 30, 2022 Award decisions announced
January 1, 2023 Estimated start date for grant work

Application Instructions

A downloadable application form and a link to register for the informational webinar will be available in late May 2022.

To receive communications during the application period, register your interest via email to TECH.pilots@energy-solution.com with the subject line “Quick Start Grants – Intent to bid”.

Submit final proposals via email toTECH.pilots@energy-solution.com with the subject line “Quick Start Grants – [Company Name]” by 5:00 PM on July 31, 2022.

Application Evaluation Rubric

CategoryCriteriaPoints
Program Impact (50 pts total) The proposal clearly articulates the barrier to heat pump market deployment addressed by the project, and how the proposed solution may overcome this barrier15
The proposal clearly articulates how the project has the potential to scale for statewide impact15
The proposal addresses a QSG Focus Area (Y/N)10
The proposal demonstrates high value (based on proposed KPIs) relative to the proposed budget10
Feasibility (40 pts total) Implementation plan is clear and reasonable to implement within 1 year10
Project is feasible within proposed budget10
Appropriate, defined audience and/or geography
5
Applicant has qualifications and expertise to successfully carry out project15
Equity (10 pts total)The applicant is a DBE or CBO (Y/N)10
Firm is able to accept terms and conditions?Yes/No
TOTAL MAXIMUM POINTS100

Q&A

Questions and answers will be added on a rolling basis to this website.

Direct all questions via email to TECH.pilots@energy-solution.com with the subject line “Quick Start Grants – Q&A” before 5:00 PM PDT on June 30, 2022.

About

A key initiative of TECH Clean California is to deploy pilot programs that test solutions to market barriers impeding the adoption of heat pump space and water heating in single- and multifamily homes. The Quick Start Grant (QSG) incentive program aims to find and fund targeted, innovative pilots that test approaches to overcoming these barriers—for example, projects that help contractors find suitable customers, that make installations faster, or that improve the value proposition of heat pumps for residents. In testing these targeted market transformation strategies and approaches, the QSG program aims to promote the development and refinement of interventions that can be scaled into statewide solutions.

2021 QSG Recipients

Here are the first round of projects that have received funding for their innovative approaches to accelerating heat pump adoption. New funding opportunities will be announced in Spring 2022.

AESC will install Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) in 10 mobile or manufactured homes in high-poverty areas and study the impact on residents’ air conditioning needs and costs.

Barnett Plumbing will provide temporary gas water heaters to their customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties who need short-term source of hot water while infrastructure for fuel switching to a HPWH is prepared.

Bloc Power + City of San Luis Obispo will collaborate to retrofit 10-12 affordable multi-family housing units in San Luis Obispo with HPWH and Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) and will establish a Community Advisory Board to engage community members and develop a communications plan.

Franklin Energy will complete home repairs in the Northern Bay Area that have prevented electrification in an existing Marin Clean Energy (MCE) low-income retrofit program.

Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries (IHACI) will train 10 contractors in the use of their Visual Service software, which enables master installers to remotely supervise multiple field technicians through a video platform linked to wireless diagnostic tools.

New Buildings Institute will enroll 32 sites in a field test of emerging 120V HPWH technology.

Redwood Coast Energy Authority will expand outreach and electrification support to rural and Native American communities in Humboldt County that currently rely on unregulated fuels and now qualify for TECH incentives.

Revalue.io will remediate home health hazards or code violations in low-income West Oakland households through electrification and will provide training to contractors and apprentices to improve the diversity of the local HVAC workforce.

Small Planet Supply will install a packaged, natural refrigerant central heat pump boiler in a 40-unit low-income farmworker community in Delano, CA to test the viability of this novel, easy-to-install solution for other similar buildings.

The Energy Coalition will incorporate HPWHs into an EPIC grant-funded solar + storage pilot in a low-income advanced energy community in Bassett and Avocado Heights, CA, and evaluate scalable electrification solutions for traditionally underserved communities.

USGBC-LA will install HPWHs and ASHPs in 10 naturally-occurring affordable housing units in Eastern San Fernando Valley, CA and add heat pumps to an education and outreach program.

Other Funding Sources

The following list provides examples and information about other funding programs that might support similar work to the Quick Start Grants. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, and not all QSG applicants will be eligible for all funding sources.

Electric Program Investment Charge Program – EPIC
California Energy Commission (80%), PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E (20%)
The California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program invests in scientific and technological research to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector to meet the state’s energy and climate goals.
California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative (CalSEED)
New Energy Nexus, California Energy Commission
The California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative (CalSEED) is a $24m grant program created to help early stage California clean energy startups bring their concepts and prototypes to market.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) 
Depts. Of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, HHS, Homeland Security, Transportation, EPA, NASA, and NSF
The SBIR and STTR programs fund a diverse portfolio of startups and small businesses across technology areas and markets to stimulate technological innovation, meet Federal research and development (R&D) needs, and increase commercialization to transition R&D into impact.
Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices (BEETIT)
ARPA-E, Dept. of Energy
The projects that comprise ARPA-E’s BEETIT program, short for “Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices,” are developing new approaches and technologies for building cooling equipment and air conditioners. These projects aim to drastically improve building energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) at a cost comparable to current technologies.
Advanced Building Construction Initiative
Dept. of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Building Construction Initiative will help ensure that ongoing innovation in the construction industry incorporates energy-efficiency technologies for superior building performance. By working with stakeholders from across the buildings industry, the ABC Initiative will ensure that greater construction productivity also leads to buildings that are smarter, healthier, more sustainable, more resilient, and more responsive to the needs of their occupants.
Community Reinvestment Grant
Clean Power Alliance
As part of its ongoing commitment to local communities, energy equity and diversity, and environmental stewardship, Calpine Energy Solutions is pleased to provide local financial support through its Community Benefits Program in partnership with Clean Power Alliance (CPA). Qualifying entities must be IRS designated 501(c)3 non-profit organizations located in/serving CPA’s service territory.
Municipal Electrification Assistance
East Bay Community Energy
The Municipal Electrification Assistance (MEA) program supports EBCE’s member cities and school districts in meeting their climate goals by transitioning buildings from on-site fossil fuel combustion to clean electricity. The program provides technical assistance or gap funding (up to $10,000) to get member agency or district projects over the finish line.
Emerging Technologies Grant Program
Silicon Valley Power
SVP will provide grants to customers who implement exceptionally creative uses of energy technology. Funding will be used for projects that demonstrate new products and product applications not yet commercially viable in today’s marketplace; install energy efficient technologies not generally known or widely accepted, yet show potential for successful market growth; successfully apply energy efficiency solutions in new ways; or introduce energy efficiency into industries or businesses that are resistant to adopting new technologies or practices.
Energy Partnership Program
California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission’s Energy Partnership Program offers services to help identify the most cost-effective, energy-saving opportunities for buildings and new construction. Cost-saving measures are needed with shrinking budgets and increasing operating costs. Reducing energy costs is one way to save money.
Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize
U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED)
The upcoming Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize will provide cash prizes ($2.5 million total) to groups and organizations to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underrepresented and underserved in the energy sector.

For additional support related to the TECH Initiative’s Quick Start Grants, contact TECH.pilots@energy-solution.com.

Questions?

Contact TECH.info@energy-solution.com.