This website uses cookies to analyze site navigation and improve user experience.  We take your privacy seriously, and never collect any personally identifiable information, nor do we ever sell or share anonymized data with any third parties.  Click “Great!” to remove this banner.

Celebrating Climate Action - 2022 Year in Review


Hammond Climate Solutions’ 2022 highlights: 

  • We publicly changed our operations from a social enterprise to Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3), which is allowing us to broaden our impact!
  • Our climate policy efforts helped: 
  • Push for a solar-friendly net metering agreement 
  • Provide feedback for the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan update and the County of San Diego’s Regional Decarbonization Framework 
  • Launch the Fossil Fuel Free Pledge! 
  • Provide input for San Diego County’s District 3 Environmental Roundtable 
  • The programs and projects we manage continued to make a positive impact in communities across the country:
  • We helped over 20 nonprofit organizations go solar this year through our Solar Moonshot Program and passed the $1,000,000 per year fundraising goal
  • We managed $8,387,418.01 in recoverable grants, which helped nonprofits nationwide afford the switch to clean energy and energy storage
  • We continued managing two e-bike pilot programs and assisted our client BQuest Foundation in supporting an e-bike program for De Anza College in Cupertino, California  
  • We oversaw the installations of an EV charging station at a San Diego-based nonprofits serving communities of concern with two more underway
  • Four more California Electric Vehicle Incentive Project (CALeVIP) rebates that we had applied for were given the green light to proceed, totalling $52,000 
  • In Q1, we accepted two awards - the first was the San Diego Green Building Council’s Sustainable Organization award, and the second was for our founder and executive director, Tara Hammond, who was one of the San Diego State University Alumni’s Rising Aztec winners
  • Our team proudly served in leadership roles on a number of boards and committees including:
  • California Alliance for Community Energy (Steering Committee) 
  • GRID Alternatives (San Diego Board of Directors) 
  • SanDiego350 (SouthBay Eco Justice team) 
  • San Diego Green New Deal Alliance (Steering Committee)
  • San Diego Community Power (Community Advisory Committee and Executive Ad Hoc Committee)
  • Climate Defenders Action Fund (Board of Directors) 
  • San Diego Climate Hub (Hub Manager) 

As 2022 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on all we have accomplished this year as well as share what we have in store for 2023. From fighting for the equitable and sustainable expansion of the rooftop solar industry to successfully advocating for comprehensive and legally-binding climate action plans to managing clean energy initiatives, this year has been packed with local, statewide and national climate action alongside many amazing partners. Thank you for supporting our work! 

Net Energy Metering 

After a two and a half year battle, the California Public Utilities Commission made a final decision on the future of rooftop solar and approved a new net energy metering tariff. Unfortunately, the decision benefits the investor-owned utilities and will slow California’s advancement towards 100 percent clean energy, using fossil fuels for a longer duration, which accelerates the climate crisis and worsens climate injustices. The tariff makes drastic cuts to the credits customers receive for sharing excess energy with neighbors and makes solar more expensive for everyone, including low-income Californians who are currently paying a disproportionate amount of income towards skyrocketing energy costs. 

Although we are outraged that the commission has sided with the investor-owned utilities and has disregarded the thousands of letters and public comments from climate organizations, nonprofits, schools, cities, elected officials and climate justice organizations urging them to keep rooftop solar growing, we want to take a step back celebrate what our coalition was able to accomplish throughout the course of the proceeding. 

In mid-2020 we were asked by the Solar Rights Alliance to gather San Diego climate leaders to help build a statewide coalition, which became the Save CA Solar coalition, and we are so proud of the coalition’s work. San Diego was a leader in addressing this issue with the most public comments in opposition coming directly from San Diegans. This is undoubtedly due to the amount of work local organizations poured into organizing public comments, giving presentations, meetings with elected officials, organizing rallies and speaking with the media (read more about one of our successful solar rallies here). Although this decision is far from a win, we were able to: 

  • Stop the solar tax 
  • Prevent changes to existing customers 
  • Defeat Assembly Bill 1139, the “anti-solar bill”
  • Build a diverse statewide coalition of over 600 

For now, we will celebrate what we were able to change but this decision serves as a reminder that there is still a lot of work to do to dismantle the fossil fuel industry's influence on politics and to achieve true energy and climate justice. For more background on this topic, check out

Local Policy Highlights 

While our team fought endlessly for good policy change at the statewide level, we also helped effectively bring some big changes at our local level in 2022. The City of San Diego passed a comprehensive Climate Action Plan update, which included bold targets for the region to meet in the coming years. More importantly, it came with a promise of an implementation plan and funding plan to be released in early 2023, something the last Climate Action Plan was lacking and resulted in little to no progress on the plan. 

At the San Diego County level we helped provide important feedback for the Regional Decarbonization Framework. While the final plan has not been approved, local climate organizations are committed to ensuring this framework is not only comprehensive but provides a path for implementation and includes how we will transition workers from our current gas infrastructure as we decarbonize. We were also invited and participated in the San Diego County District 3 Environmental Roundtable strategy meetings. 

Finally, our team was proud to serve as technical stakeholders to help with the development of a number of local programs and climate boards, most notably, the development of the City of San Diego’s new Climate Advisory Boards, which will advise the city on numerous issues ranging from energy and land conservation to building electrification and stormwater issues.     

Fossil Fuel Free Pledge 

The Fossil Fuel Free Pledge, which was launched by SanDiego350, Surfrider San Diego, BikeSD, San Diego Coastkeeper and Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation, disrupts the fossil fuel industry’s anti-climate agenda by celebrating and providing transparency regarding where nonprofit organizations, elected officials and candidates receive funding. Those who take the pledge commit to not accepting money from fossil fuel companies, demonstrating dedication and seriousness to combatting the climate crisis, dismantling the local fossil fuel industry’s influence and prioritizing a healthy, equitable, ethical, just transition and sustainable world. 

Since the pledge’s soft launch during Earth month, there have been nearly 35 pledgees and we plan to expand the pledge categories in the coming months! To read more about the August launch event, click here, and to take the pledge, please fill out an application on the campaign website:

Solar Moonshot Program

Our Solar Moonshot Program continues to effectively make positive change by assisting nonprofit organizations across the country in adopting clean energy. To date, the Solar Moonshot Program has secured $3,150,000, which so far has assisted over 100 nonprofits, deploying 5,458kW of solar and offsetting 136,049 metric tons of carbon dioxide. These projects are reducing emissions, offering solar and energy storage education to the community, supporting green jobs and allowing nonprofits to save money on utility bills that are reinvested into their missions. 

In recent months we have supported over 20 projects across nine states. The projects range from educational facilities to food pantries, affordable housing and more. Collectively, these projects equate to 853.25kW of solar power, have supported countless green jobs and will reduce the use of dirty energy contributing to climate racism and the climate crisis for decades to come. 

There are always more solar projects to fund. If you know of a foundation, philanthropist or company interested in supporting the Solar Moonshot Program, further expanding our impact, please reach out to  

New Electric Bike Program

We are excited to be taking part in our fourth electric bike (e-bike) program. This program, in partnership with De Anza College, Cupertino Rotary and BQuest Foundation, will benefit low-income students at De Anza College. The e-bike loaner program will allow students to get to and from the college more easily and provide them with a reliable form of transportation while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint. The college will be launching this loaner program with 23 e-bikes and we look forward to seeing how the student body benefits as well as how many vehicle miles are offset by the e-bikes!

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

While there are many public funds available for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the process of applying for them and ultimately securing them can be daunting and burdensome for nonprofit organizations with little resources. 

We have helped the BQuest Foundation  secure rebates from the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (CALeVIP), which when paired with the foundation's grants, brings EV charging stations to nonprofit organizations serving communities  at zero cost to the nonprofit.

Our efforts this year have helped secure $42,000 in rebates for nonprofits serving communities of concern across the region and EV charging installations for three nonprofits have been installed or are close to being installed. 

Looking Forward 

In addition to continuing our climate advocacy and policy efforts, climate advising and existing climate programs like the Solar Moonshot Program and our e-bike programs, we plan to expand the Fossil Fuel Free Pledge to other focus areas as well. We’ll be sharing details on other programs for 2023 in the coming weeks, some of which will serve as pilot programs and proof of concept to lay the foundation for bigger programs for cities, community choice programs and legislation. 

Connect with us on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter) and to ensure you receive updates in the future, sign up for our newsletter.

We look forward to working with all of you in 2023 to create a more just and livable future!

All Posts

Select field
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Empowering Oceanside: Nonprofits Harness Clean Energy to Reinvest in the Community and Combat Climate Injustices

About a year ago, Preserve Calavera, the Oceanside-based nonprofit organization that received $4.4 million for its Oceanside Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Fund, selected solar power projects to be among its first initiatives with the fund.

About a year ago, Preserve Calavera, the Oceanside-based nonprofit organization that received $4.4 million for its Oceanside Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Fund, selected solar power projects to be among its first initiatives with the fund. The target for its initial solar grants were nonprofits in Oceanside’s communities of concern that otherwise wouldn’t be going solar. 

With an April 2023 deadline to get secured under net energy metering, or NEM 2.0, the solar agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric before solar rules changed across California, Preserve Calavera hired Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation to manage the solar initiative. After outreach to several community organizations, Preserve Calavera recommended Brother Benno’s to be one of the grant recipients. Brother Benno’s is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to serving homeless neighbors, the working poor, and seniors in North San Diego County by offering essential meals, addressing basic needs, fostering community outreach, and supporting addiction recovery.

Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation managed a competitive bidding process for the solar projects, brought in BQuest Foundation, another philanthropic funder, oversaw the execution of the solar contracts and philanthropic solar agreements, in addition to reaching out to an established BQuest partner, Vista Community Clinic, to be a grant recipient. Vista Community Clinic, which first opened in 1972, set out to provide quality health care to anyone who walked through its doors. Today, nearly 50 years later, the clinics have helped redefine the community clinic model by pioneering innovative models of primary care delivery.

The first of the three solar projects, for Vista Community Clinic’s (North Horne Street location), completed this month. The other two projects, at Vista Community Clinic’s (Pier View Way location) and Brother Benno’s, should start within a couple of weeks. Combined, these projects are saving the nonprofits an estimated $2 million during the lifetime of the systems while reducing 2810  metric tons of CO2 contributing to the climate crisis. The three systems have an average payback period of 4.3 years. Additionally, these solar projects were installed by the Encinitas-based, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 569 signatory contractor, Aloha Solar Power, supporting local green jobs and apprentices getting on-the-job training. These three projects are considered smaller solar projects that slip through the cracks with traditional solar financing. This leaves many nonprofits not being able to go solar, missing out on a variety of benefits. 

The solar projects will provide education to the community about clean energy, how it reduces climate injustices and the impacts of the climate crisis, which often impact communities of concern first and worst. 

These projects were made possible by a grant from the Oceanside Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Fund at San Diego Foundation on behalf of Preserve Calavera as well as a philanthropic solar bridge loan from the BQuest Foundation. 

Read more

Celebrating a year of impactful climate action

The past year has been a testament to the undeniable urgency of addressing the climate crisis as extreme weather and flooding events, fires, drought, heatwaves and other climate emergencies are occurring worldwide.

The past year has been a testament to the undeniable urgency of addressing the climate crisis as extreme weather and flooding events, fires, drought, heatwaves and other climate emergencies are occurring worldwide. As California made decisions to side with the investor-owned utilities to make solar power less accessible and more expensive, the federal government made landmark investments in funding clean energy initiatives. Our team has been working tirelessly advocating for a just and livable future, which includes work behind the scenes working with Governor Newsom’s office, California Public Utility Commission staff and San Diego Community Power to provide feedback on and assist with advancing climate initiatives and programs.    

As we grapple with the wins and losses this year brought, the Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation team is proud to have helped create a more just and livable future. We are grateful for our clients, nonprofit partners and climate champions that we have the pleasure of working with throughout 2023. 

Climate Legislation 

California was able to make some progress on climate through statewide legislation this year and our team was proud to offer our support on a handful of bills, some of which did not pass or did pass and were vetoed by Governor Newsom. By far the biggest win was Senate Bill 253, the Climate Corporation Data Accountability Act, which now requires companies making $1 billion or more to disclose their annual greenhouse gas emissions, forcing an estimated 5,400 companies in the state including Walmart, Exxon and Apple, to provide transparency and hopefully turn that transparency into true climate action. 

Another climate win we were able to help support, along with our partner BQuest Foundation, was Senate Bill 355. The bill started as a bill to expand the eligibility requirements for the state’s Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing Program,and after meeting with the bill author’s office, our team was proud to have language added into the bill to encourage a loan guarantee to increase utilization of program funds. Although the details still need to be worked out through the California Public Utilities Commission, the added language means that property owners could access the rebate on the front end. 

As we celebrate these two huge wins in the legislature, we have also been actively campaigning to reverse language approved last year through Assembly Bill 205, a budget trailer bill that included a provision, which removed the current cap on utility taxes and mandates a utility tax on all ratepayers that has unlimited potential to grow. The bill was passed without any public discussion and would be the highest utility tax in the country in a state that already has the highest utility rates in the nation. Throughout this year, Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation and organization partners have submitted numerous letters to state legislators, Governor Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission urging them to repeal the utility tax provision. We have also addressed this issue directly with legislators who have met with us in person. If this section of the bill is not repealed, then the changes will go into effect mid next year. 

Rooftop Solar 

Protecting and expanding rooftop solar has been one of Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation’s biggest policy priorities this year. Although the decision to cut rooftop solar benefits for homeowners in 2022 was a drastic decision and a huge step in the wrong direction, the investor-owned utilities and the California Public Utilities Commission took it a step further and began attacking solar for renters, farms and schools. In August the California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision that would block renters, farms and schools from using their own solar energy. The proposal attempted to give the utilities full control over rooftop solar energy produced by any facility with multiple meters, meaning a school for example, would need to buy back their own solar energy from the utility at full price. Our team worked tirelessly to bring attention to this issue locally and statewide and submitted numerous comments. After delaying the vote on this decision numerous times, a revised proposed decision was released in November. The newly revised proposed decision allows tenants in multifamily buildings to use their solar energy in real time, but still blocks that right from property owners, schools and farms. This decision along with the cuts to rooftop solar benefits for homeowners made last year will make it harder for California to reach its clean energy goals, increase climate injustices, accelerate the climate crisis and ultimately shows how much power the investor owned utilities have.  

Although both decisions are upsetting, we are proud of the advocates statewide who spent numerous hours ensuring their voices were heard and were proud to contribute to San Diego being listed as one of the top cities with the most public comments on this issue. 

Local Climate Action 

While Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation has remained very engaged on statewide issues, our team has also stayed involved with local climate initiatives. Over the course of the year, we submitted numerous letters to the City of San Diego City Council and Mayor Todd Gloria on issues ranging from funding for the Climate Action Plan, building electrification, recommendations for budget prioritization and more. 

We also remain engaged with the County of San Diego as they develop their Regional Decarbonization Framework, providing feedback as they release information.  

We are proud to hold trusted relationships with local elected officials and be looked at as subject matter experts on issues like net energy metering and rooftop solar. This year, we were invited to participate in two elected officials’ environmental roundtables where we proposed ideas for future bills and policies and discussed our team’s priorities. 

We were also proud to help the Let’s Go! San Diego Coalition raise awareness on a proposed transit improvement measure, which has successfully passed the 10,0000 signature requirement to go on the 2024 ballot. 

Looking Forward to 2024

Our team is involved in numerous coalitions, serving in leadership roles and intend to continue our involvement with the San Diego Green New Deal Alliance, California Alliance for Community Energy, San Diego Community Power, San Diego Building Electrification Coalition and Grid Alternatives San Diego. In addition to continuing our climate advocacy and policy efforts, we are also working hard on our climate programs like the Solar Moonshot Program and our e-bike programs. 

Please connect with us on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter, and to ensure you receive updates in the future, sign up for our newsletter.

We look forward to working with all of you in 2024 to create a more resilient, equitable and healthier future for all. 

Read more
Villa Lakeshore Apartments in Lakeside, which BQuest provided a SOMAH bride loan for, allowing the property to install solar, which saves tenants $1,600 a year on utility bills

California bill could restructure traditional incentive programs

New bill could restructure traditional incentive programs in California

It is no secret that traditionally, clean energy infrastructure has primarily been accessible to wealthy homeowners in California. More than a million homes and businesses have rooftop solar, but the state’s environmental justice communities, which are in the most polluted areas, have been left out. In order to reach the state’s climate and clean energy goals, it is necessary to provide clean energy access to everyone and a big part of how we get there is programs. 

The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) Program was created by California Assembly Bill (AB) 693 introduced by then Assemblymember Susan Eggman in 2016, which included the largest investment of its kind in the nation - $1 billion over the next decade from five of the state's gas and electric  investor-owned utility companies greenhouse gas cap-and-trade auction proceeds to subsidize solar panels on multifamily affordable housing across the state. For tenants, this means reduced utility bills, better housing security and job training opportunities. For housing complex owners, the solar reduces common area electricity costs, reducing overhead expenses. The program had a very successful launch, becoming fully subscribed within the first 24 hours of opening the program with more than 240 applications representing 74MW of solar capacity. However, after the successful launch, the program has experienced a significant decrease in applications in subsequent years, only receiving a total of 20 applications in 2022. 

A required third-party evaluation of the program identified a number of barriers to program participation. A major barrier cited from property owners was gap financing. SOMAH Program projects can be lengthy, and the current incentive structure requires the property owner to float the rebate amount, which can be thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes for a year. The program recognized this issue and rolled at progress payments, which paid a portion of the incentive for certain project milestones, but this simply is not enough for some property owners. Recognizing the need for gap financing in order for these projects to participate in the program, Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation and BQuest Foundation began working together to provide no interest bridge loans for SOMAH projects, providing much needed funds for projects that would have otherwise not moved forward. After funding a handful of projects, BQuest realized they could scale this opportunity a lot more quickly and reach many more property owners by creating a loan guarantee instead of financing these projects on a one by one basis. A loan guarantee would allow the property owner to access the rebate on the front end, backed by a loan guarantee from BQuest, without putting ratepayer money at risk and allowing BQuest to scale their impact. 

In February 2023, Senator Eggman introduced Senate Bill (SB) 355, which expanded SOMAH Program eligibility to include tribal housing, housing owned by public agencies and increased the income threshold among other things. At this point, Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation and BQuest had already been involved in numerous meetings with the SOMAH Program administrators, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) energy division staff, the Governor’s Office and were actively involved in the SOMAH proceeding at the CPUC and while support for this idea was given by all parties, implementing something like this had proven to be slightly more difficult. Since SB 355 addressed the lack of applications in the SOMAH program and expanded eligibility, we met with Senator Eggman’s staff and proposed an amendment to the bill to include language for a loan guarantee and not only was the language added with no opposition, it was signed by Governor Newsom on October 7! 

This is a huge win for California and an opportunity to prove that incentive programs structured in a way that provides the rebate on the front end can work and will eliminate barriers to participation. You can read the full bill text here.     

Read more