Forum to highlight the benefits of electrification for Nevada
(LAS VEGAS, NEVADA) The Beneficial Electrification League (BEL) and broad array of public and private sector stakeholders are convening dozens of Nevada’s top energy leaders Monday, May 9, 2022, at “Electrify Nevada,” a forum designed to advance cost-effective electrification measures that save consumers money, reduce emissions, and improve the electric grid.
“We greatly appreciate the leaders in Nevada who are working with us to bring the latest information on grants, other financial opportunities, and efficient electric technologies to the Silver State’s businesses, consumers, and policymakers,” said Keith Dennis, President of the Beneficial Electrification League (BEL), a non-profit organization working across the country to expand the cost-effective use of electricity for energy end-uses that would otherwise be powered by fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel oil, natural gas, and propane.
“We’re pleased to host this event, particularly at this time when the increased volatility of the price of fossil fuels is hurting many of our residents,” said Marci Henson, Director of Clark County’s Department of Environment and Sustainability. “Electrification measures can also greatly benefit our air quality and create a balance between our three pillars of sustainability: economic, environment, and social equity, thus enhancing quality of life for current and future residents.”
Focus on federal funding opportunities
One of the highlighted topics of “Electrify Nevada” are the new federal funding opportunities coming soon for schools, local governments, and low-income residents.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes a host of funding I helped secure available for electric vehicles and their infrastructure, battery technology, and the electric grid,” noted U.S. Senator Cortez Masto. “I look forward to working with this event’s participants and other Nevadans to make sure our state can take advantage of those resources. My office will be available to help Nevadans with related grant applications and will continue to support the growth of Nevada’s cutting-edge, clean-energy economy that creates good-paying jobs.”
Grant funding for electric school buses is a top priority of the Beneficial Electrification League which recently launched an initiative to work with electric cooperatives across the county to help interested schools apply for funding from the $5 billion coming available through a program administered by the U.S. EPA.
“Schools across the country face tight budgets and limited resources,” said Dennis. “We know that if we can help schools get an electric school bus through this program then they’ll save both the cost of a new bus as well as thousands of dollars a year on fuel and operating expenses. These monetary savings on transportation costs can be used instead in the classroom.”
“This new federal program for electric school buses is an exciting addition to the funding for electric school buses and additional charging infrastructure made available through Senate Bill 448, which was brought forward by the Nevada legislature and signed into law by Governor Sisolak,” said Marie Steele, Vice President of Electrification and Energy Services at NV Energy. “We hope to be able to help more school districts acquire cost-saving, zero emission transportation for their students.”
Another federal funding program that can be utilized for beneficial electrification measures will be directed to local governments. Large municipalities will receive some funding directly. State energy offices will administer funding geared toward smaller cities. The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy (NGOE) has extensive experience in optimizing financial resources to help reduce energy costs and reducing pollution.
“Energy efficiency and electrification of the built environment and transportation sector are priorities for our office as we seek to use policies outlined in the State Climate Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across Nevada’s economy,” Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy (GOE) Director David Bobzien said. “I am pleased our staff can participate in “Electrify Nevada” to review our current and planned activities to help cut energy costs in various sectors while reducing emissions in the built environment.”
There are grant and financing opportunities available to the private sector as well, particularly in rural Nevada through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lucas Ingvoldstad, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Nevada, notes, “Our Renewable Energy for America Program, known as REAP, provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. Beneficial electrification measures such as heat pumps for heating and cooling commercial buildings in rural Nevada could be a great fit along with other qualified clean energy improvements.”
Additional financing opportunities that could facilitate beneficial electrification as well as other clean energy projects are expected from the recently launched Nevada Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), Nevada’s first “Green Bank.” NCEF Executive Director Kirsten Stasio explains “we provide financing and technical support so that Nevada’s residents, businesses, and communities can access these clean energy opportunities and realize economic, health, and climate benefits in the process.”
Leveraging the benefits of electrification for consumers, the environment and grid reliability
Dennis emphasized that ‘beneficial electrification’ is defined as measures that improve at least one of four factors without any detriment to the others, the criteria being: 1) saving consumers money over time; 2) reducing emissions; 3) improving consumer product satisfaction; 4) improving grid resilience and reliability.
“There’s a large number of new and improved electric products that meet these criteria, ranging from ultra-high efficiency heat pumps for home heating, cooling, and water heating to electric mining and farm equipment,” Dennis explained.
“We greatly appreciate the sponsors and partners who’ve made the “Electrify Nevada” forum possible including Wells Fargo, NV Energy, Daikin Comfort Technologies, the Nevada Rural Electric Association, the Nevada Professional Facility Managers Association, Ioneer, Las Vegas Power Professionals, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and All-In Clark County,” said Dennis. “They’ve enabled us to bring together a wide range of other businesses and government agencies to exchange information and dialogue. We hope this forum and educational effort is the first of several that continue to provide outstanding information to Nevadans.”
“Nevada’s consumer-owned utilities are deeply rooted in the communities they serve and are always looking to bring innovative solutions to folks at the end of the line,” said Carolyn Turner, Executive Director of the Nevada Rural Electric Association. “We look forward to being part of “Electrify Nevada” and finding cost-effective new opportunities to help residential consumers and rural businesses alike save energy and money.”
The entire agenda is found online at https://be-league.org/events/ A limited number of seats are still available. For other information about the event, please contact Tom Polikalas at 775-386-7411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.