SoCalGas kicks-off 2019 Environmental Champions Grant Program

By Southern California Gas Co. | May 10, 2019

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has kicked-off its 2019 Environmental Champions Grant initiative, announcing the company is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations focused on clean air, clean energy and renewable natural gas. Eligible organizations can apply for grants of up to $25,000 each by visiting this link between May 2 and June 5, 2019. Winners will be selected and notified of their selection in Sept. 2019.

Last year, SoCalGas awarded nearly $400,000 in grants to 32 nonprofits for projects related to clean air, energy, or water. Since its inception in 2015, the Environmental Champions Initiative, which is funded by Sempra Energy shareholders, has awarded more than 150 grants totaling over $2 million.

"SoCalGas is committed to being the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, and part of that commitment is helping advance the work of the environmental champions working to improve our local communities each day," said Sharon Tomkins, vice president of strategy and engagement for SoCalGas. "Since our Environmental Champions initiative launched in 2015, SoCalGas has been proud to partner with more than 150 local leaders to develop projects that help improve our environment and tackle climate change."

Last year's winners include:

Amigos De Los Rios: The Emerald Necklace Multi-Campus Urban Greening project will demonstrate urban greening at three San Gabriel Valley schools through the creation of a habitat and green infrastructure that is designed to provide mental health, academic performance, and physical education benefits.

Climate Resolve: The #keepLAcool project will hold a public event in northeast San Fernando Valley to showcase cooling strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts and provide ongoing tours and education on cool surfaces.

The San Bernardino Valley College Foundation: The Compressed Natural Gas, Electric, and Hybrid Training Expansion project will expand the heavy-duty engine repair training program at San Bernardino Valley College by adding a second equipment lab.

Special Service for Groups/Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement: The Particulate Matters project will install the largest air pollution sensor array in the San Gabriel Valley and collect data for research on air pollution and health outcomes in the region.

Energy Independence Now: The Hydrogen Solutions for California's Clean Economy project will engage stakeholders on the health, economic, and environmental benefits of hydrogen-electric vehicles and renewable/carbon-free hydrogen.

Southeast Community Development Corporation: The Southeast LA STEM Environmental Leadership Academy project will consist of educational workshops (focused on clean air, water, and energy), STEM Labs with mentors, field trips, and 1st Annual SELA STEM Fest event. The project targets high school students from the southeast area of Los Angeles county. The program goal is to educate and mentor future community leaders and develop potential solutions to regional environmental problems.

"Energy Independence Now (EIN) was honored to be recognized by SoCalGas with the Environmental Champions Award. We are proud to stand alongside our peers in the environmental community as we advocate for clean air and the fight against climate change. As the only nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to advancing zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and renewable hydrogen, EIN applauds the work SoCalGas is doing to decarbonize their business model and to further the green hydrogen marketplace," said Brian Goldstein, executive director of Energy Independence Now. "Together, we are exploring renewable energy storage, zero-emission fuel distribution and deep decarbonization opportunities. EIN is thrilled to team up with SoCalGas to improve air quality and to address climate change." 

"The Environmental Champions Initiative has provided Southeast Community Development Corporation with the opportunity to focus on educating our youth about clean air, clean water, and renewable energy in the Southeast area," said Cesar Zaldivar-Motts, executive director of the SCDC. "This initiative will assist with educating and mentoring our future community leaders to develop potential solutions to regional environmental problems. Thank you to SoCalGas for supporting these efforts." 

The following groups are eligible to apply for the 2019 grant initiative:

- 501(c)(3) organizations that provide programs in communities in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Ventura, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Fresno, and San Luis Obispo.

- Projects must commence in 2019 or 2020 and be 85 percent completed by December 31, 2020.

- Eligible proposals include new or existing projects or programs that address the local challenges of clean air, clean energy and renewable natural gas.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 5, 2019. Following submission, applicants will receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of their application.

Supporting local environmental organizations is part of SoCalGas' vision to the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. As part of that vision, SoCalGas committed to replace 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030.

In addition, SoCalGas recently announced a broad, integrated, and inclusive plan to help achieve California's ambitious climate goals in a paper titled, California's Clean Energy Future: Imagine the Possibilities. The plan embraces an all-of-the-above approach to fight climate change, keeps energy affordability as a key focus, calls for developing long-term renewable energy storage using existing infrastructure, and can aid in promoting rapid consumer adoption.