2021 Quick Start Grant Recipients

The Energy Coalition


The Energy Coalition will incorporate heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) into a California Energy Commission Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant-funded solar + storage pilot in a low-income advanced energy community in Bassett and Avocado Heights, CA. The pilot will evaluate scalable electrification solutions for traditionally underserved communities.

Market Barrier

The effect of full home electrification on the energy bills of low-income households is a pressing concern for policymakers, decarbonization advocates, and program implementers wishing to assist energy-burdened households.  Combining electrification with distributed photovoltaic generation could drastically decrease electricity bills, but this idea has not been comprehensively studied.

Proposed Solution

The Energy Coalition will use QSG funds to augment an existing EPIC grant-funded project, the Bassett Avocado Heights Advanced Energy Community (BAAEC). The project will install solar and battery storage systems for up to 50 low-income single-family residences and replace up to 20 gas water heaters with electric HPWHs. Funding will also be used to educate families on the benefits of HPWHs and build community capacity.

Theory of Change

The Energy Coalition will conduct community-wide inspections before emergency burnout to provide guidance for a planned queue of HPWH retrofits.  The HPWHs will be operated as part of a virtual power plant that offers value to the community, like helping customers avoid high electricity costs during peak periods and supporting demand response and wholesale economic dispatch participation.

Project Status:

In progress

Housing Type:

Single-family low-income


HPWH (in combination with solar and storage)


Bassett and Avocado Heights, CA