East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) is now Ava Community Energy (Ava). New name, new look. Same clean energy, low rates, and local programs.

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Community Innovation Grants

Group of people installing solar panels

Ava’s vision for Alameda County is found in the Local Development Business Plan (LDBP), a framework developed with community input for accelerating clean energy investments that enhance workforce development, promote stronger local economic activity, and increase community resilience. The LDBP outlines various financial and non-financial resources for non-profit and community organizations to help accomplish these goals.

Our Current Grant Recipients

Ecology Action

Ecology Action designed a scalable multi-unit dwelling (MUD) EV charging program delivery model for low-and moderate-income residents within Ava’s service area. This is a proof of concept initiative that will result in a fully-tested and vetted program design that will be ready to be implemented by Ava.

Final Report (PDF) from Ecology Action

People Power Solar Cooperative

People Power Solar Cooperative organized its second community-owned solar project to provide a critical model for community investment and ownership of renewable energy in California and other states that lack shared solar laws.

Final Report (PDF) from People Power Solar Cooperative


Through RE-volv’s unique community-empowerment model, RE-volv seeks to bring solar installations to at least four East Bay nonprofits that serve underserved communities, while raising awareness about the benefits of clean energy, and creating dramatic electricity bill savings to benefit the community.

Community Impact LAB

Community Impact LAB empowered and educated Alameda County families and businesses to tackle climate change through energy conservation and literacy. The project includes two conservation challenges which utilize technology to audit and reduce usage, a Clean Energy mini-conference and Business/ Career Fair, a three-part workshop series and an online educational campaign.

Final Report (PDF) from Community Impact LAB

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity hosted a program titled Climate Careers, aiming to employ and train youth as Energy Specialists to conduct Green House Calls in hard-to-reach households, helping residents save energy and money. In a new pilot program, the youth will enroll Alameda County residents in a service that analyzes their energy bills and coaches them to reduce energy use. Check out the final grant here (PDF) (PDF).

West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project

West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project’s West Oakland Renewable Project (WORP) developed a business model for partnerships between local communities and commercial property owners/developers. It generates profits from energy sales to support various energy resilience programs for income-qualified residents.

Grant Evaluation

Criteria Definitions(s) Weight
Primary Project Objectives
(meets all two)
Community Benefits Delivers local energy-related benefits to targeted communities (e.g. low-income, disadvantaged, EJ, and/or hard-to-reach groups) in areas such as job creation, workforce development, economic empowerment, and climate and social resilience. 50%
Innovation and Collaboration New, community collaborative approaches to eliminating or reducing energy-related environmental or economic community impacts. 20%
Secondary Project Objectives
(meets two of the following four)
Local, Clean Energy Projects Proposes plans to identify or develop local renewable energy, energy efficiency or fuel switching in Alameda County that increases community access to or ownership of clean energy. 15%
Community Health Reduces greenhouse gases (GHG), local criteria pollutants or energy bills in communities demonstrating an impact on local community health and quality of life. 15%
Scalability Is able to be expanded across other Ava communities and beyond. 15%
Increase Energy Literacy Proposes plans to increase participation and public understanding of energy concepts and programs. 15%
Project Requirements
(meets all two)
Project Feasibility Project includes staffing capability. Organization showcases applicable skills to carry project. Budget is less than or equal to $40,000 and reasonable for project scope.
Local Impact Project includes key performance indicators (KPIs) that are identifiable, measurable, enduring, and local to Ava’s communities.

Grant Overview

The Community Innovation Grant will award up to a total of $160,000 in funding to non-profit and community-based organizations for projects designed to deliver energy-related social and environmental benefits to residents of Alameda County. Proposed projects will be evaluated based on criteria that assess an application’s alignment with Ava’s goals and mission. Ava’s grant resources can be financial and/or non-financial in nature. For example, applicants can request Ava staff volunteers, consultations, data accessibility, or written support of community-led projects.


Community-based non-profit organizations and 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(5) are eligible to apply for up to $40,000 per project. Ava will make $160k in funding available in this program cycle. While applicants are not required to have offices located within Ava’s service territory, applications will be evaluated based on total local contributions (see Project Requirements in the table below). Proposed projects can be existing or new. If the proposed project is existing, please provide an explanation on how grant funds will support a new element or scaling effort.

Program Objectives

Ava seeks proposals from organizations that meet the following program objectives.

Must meet the following criteria:

  • Deliver local community benefits
  • Advance innovation and collaboration

And must meet at least two out of the following four (secondary) criteria:

  • Identify or develop local clean energy projects
  • Encourage community health
  • Scalable and replicable
  • Increase energy literacy


The application period is currently closed. Check this web page in the future for more information.