Officials search $2M grant to convey solar energy, home upgrades to Ann Arbor neighborhood – MLive.com

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ANN ARBOR, MI — Plans to make the Bryant neighborhood in Ann Arbor one of many first decarbonized neighborhoods within the United States might get an enormous increase if native officers are profitable in a grant software they’re now making.

In collaboration with Ann Arbor’s sustainability workplace, the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development is searching for as much as $2 million in aggressive funds via the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to decarbonize as much as 30 houses within the southeast Ann Arbor neighborhood.

If the grant request is profitable, funds might be used over three years for home enhancements, solar panel installations, workforce improvement and group constructing, based on a decision unanimously accredited by the county board Wednesday evening, March 16, authorizing the applying.

Ann Arbor goals to make Bryant neighborhood carbon-neutral in 5 years

OCED is seeking to companion with Ann Arbor’s sustainability workplace, the Bryant Community Center and the Community Action Network to have interaction residents within the grant-funded work, which would come with home weatherization and different energy-efficiency companies. Free home enhancements can be supplied to income-eligible households to completely electrify and decarbonize houses, OCED Director Teresa Gillotti stated in a memo.

“This would involve using deep energy retrofits, electrification of all appliances and installation of renewable energy sources,” she wrote. “These comprehensive improvements can cost tens of thousands of dollars per home.”

Ann Arbor’s sustainability workplace led by Missy Stults has been main the challenge. If the hassle is wildly profitable, carbon-neutrality within the Bryant neighborhood might be achieved by 2025-26, Stults stated in December.

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“We are excited to partner with them to expand the work, and happy that they are able to take the lead on the grant-writing,” Gillotti wrote in her memo to the county board, noting the grants are solely accessible to Department of Energy weatherization program grantees and their companions and town wouldn’t have the ability to apply with out OCED’s partnership.

Eligibility for residents curious about taking part in this system relies on an revenue restrict of 200% of the federal poverty stage. Officials be aware the Bryant neighborhood has a better focus of low-income households and residents of coloration in contrast with the remainder of town.

While a big portion of the grant can be used for direct energy effectivity and renewable energy home enhancements, about 40% would go to administrative prices, Gillotti stated, noting it’s seemingly a full-time challenge coordinator might be wanted.

It additionally must be famous in-kind prices generated from the grant are estimated to be $875,000, she stated, noting commitments of help from different group companions corresponding to Michigan Saves, Elevate Energy, the University of Michigan, DTE Energy and Homeland Solar, a neighborhood solar installer.

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“This team has an existing deep commitment to this neighborhood and is committed to finding ways to make this the first fully decarbonized neighborhood in America and doing that in a way that centers the hopes, aspirations and abilities of the residents,” Gillotti wrote. “To date, no U.S. neighborhood has fully decarbonized, but this collection of partners has all the foundational skills, relationships, technical and financial knowledge, and passion necessary to manifest this project.”

The challenge group is devoted to together with the residents of the Bryant neighborhood, which is recognized in a chance index as having low entry to alternative, Gillotti stated.

“By undertaking deeply coordinated operations applied at the neighborhood scale, the team will demonstrate that it is possible to achieve far reaching and compounding benefits for families and communities while working towards a just and decarbonized future,” she wrote, citing statistics displaying the neighborhood consists of roughly 260 households, 75% of that are thought of low-income with median family incomes of $45,464, whereas over 50% of residents are BIPOC and 50% are renters. Average home values are simply shy of $150,000, in comparison with $435,000 throughout Ann Arbor.

“Median rents are $662, but many rent for over $1,000,” Gillotti wrote. “Over one-third of households are energy burdened (spending 6% or more of income on energy).”

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