Grant will award three local governments in the utility's service territory $50,000 to help prepare for climate-change risks
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it will again award Climate Adaptation & Resiliency Grants to local cities to support efforts to increase resiliency in the face of climate change risks such as wildfires, floods, extreme heat, drought, sea level rise, and other major weather events. The competitive grant program provides $50,000 each to three municipalities in the SoCalGas service territory and is designed to help cities and counties reduce the impact of climate change-related threats. The application process opens today.
An advisory panel of planning and sustainability experts from the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC) and the American Planning Association-California Chapter (APA-California) will assist with the selection of the winning applications from across Southern and Central California.
"Collaboration between utilities and municipalities is key to resiliency when preparing for climate events such as wildfires, earthquakes and floods," said Andy Carrasco, vice president of strategy & engagement and chief environmental officer at SoCalGas. "The natural gas infrastructure is critical to the resiliency of the energy supply during natural disasters and as we work to implement our vision for a 21st century energy system, we look forward to providing affordable and cleaner energy to cities while helping them maintain resiliency."
"As LA's regional climate collaborative, LARC supports cross-jurisdictional collaboration and facilitates the exchange of information, best practices, and cutting-edge research" said Erin Coutts, LARC's executive director. "We are excited to advise a grant program that encourages partnerships and will help our cities address climate vulnerabilities in disadvantaged communities."
"As shapers of the built environment, planners recognize our critical role in helping the communities we serve prepare for the risks associated with climate change," said Ashley Atkinson, president-elect of the American Planning Association's California Chapter. "We're grateful to SoCalGas for helping local cities elevate climate adaptation among competing priorities by providing grant funding for essential plan updates."
Municipalities embarking on a Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan, or incorporating climate change impacts into the Safety Element of their General Plan are eligible to apply. Grant proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:
DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES: SoCalGas encourages applicants to address climate vulnerabilities in disadvantaged communities.
COLLABORATION: Reflect coordination and partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders (energy/water utilities, transportation, housing, etc.).
CO-BENEFITS: Identify potential co-benefits of the adaptation work, such as benefits to public health, air quality, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and the economy.
The annual grants will be funded by shareholders and will not impact natural gas bills. The deadline to submit proposals is September 30, 2020.
Last year, the City of Loma Linda, the City of Malibu and Los Angeles County were awarded the three SoCalGas adaptation and resiliency grants.
Los Angeles County is utilizing its grant to prepare an Adaptive Capacity Assessment for disadvantaged communities in unincorporated Los Angeles County, which will inform and be incorporated into the County's Safety Element Update. The City of Loma Linda is making use of its grant to update its local hazard mitigation plan as well as the Safety Element of its General Plan. Finally, Malibu is applying its grant to create a comprehensive and actionable Community Resilience and Adaptation Plan that will be integrated into the Safety Element of the City's General Plan.
A study on the impacts of four climate-related disasters on the energy sector found that natural gas infrastructure exhibited significant resilience because it is underground. In addition, the study showed that backup generation powered by natural gas pipelines can provide on-site electricity generation for hospitals, relief centers and other critical facilities during a disaster. A summary of its findings may be found here.
The climate grant program is part of SoCalGas' vision to be the cleanest gas utility in North America. As part of this plan, the utility committed to displacing 20% of its traditional natural gas supply with RNG by 2030 through its reimagined 21st century energy system. It also has the potential to include several other clean energy strategies such as hydrogen and will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy.
For more information about SoCalGas' environmental initiatives, go to socalgas.com/smart-energy.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas's vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Company