Sierra Nevada Businesses Awarded New Refrigeration & Freezer Units through Healthy Refrigeration Grant Program

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Brittney Gutierrez

Climate & Energy Technician

The California Department of Food & Agriculture recently announced award recipients of the Healthy Refrigeration Grant Program (HRGP). The purpose of the statewide grant is to provide small businesses and food donation programs with energy-efficient refrigeration equipment to expand their selection of healthy California-grown food.

As a technical assistance provider to the program, Sierra Business Council (SBC) conducted outreach and provided grant writing and technical services to numerous applicants throughout the Sierra Nevada. The SBC team successfully assisted nine businesses, tribes, and nonprofits with the application process, resulting in four awarded projects. Recipients include Nancy’s Hope, Ione Band of Miwok Indians, Empire Creek Provisions & Market, and Quincy Natural Foods. 

The SBC team also leveraged relationships made through HRGP to engage three businesses in Sierra Nevada Energy Watch (SNEW) services. SNEW is designed to help small businesses reduce energy waste and save money by conducting no-cost energy audits to evaluate lighting, HVAC, insulation, and refrigeration and connect businesses with available funding solutions. 

Through the SNEW program, HGRP applicant El Dorado Grocery & Deli, located outside of Placerville, was able to update numerous refrigeration units which will result in a 44% reduction in energy use and save thousands of dollars on their annual utility bills. The SNEW team will continue to assist HGRP applicants by providing them with free energy efficiency services. 

We would like to congratulate all of the grant recipients and show support for the businesses and organizations that submitted an application. This was a highly competitive grant that received over $61 million in requests with only $9 million available in funding. Rural areas are often underrepresented in funding opportunities, therefore, we were very excited to see local projects awarded to further benefit the Sierra Nevada community. All recipients have been posted on the program website.

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