The Innovation Onramp program was launched to leverage SVCE’s unique position to engage and support the innovation ecosystem in addressing key technical, market and policy barriers to achieving deep decarbonization in our service territory & beyond. The next round of applications opens September 16 and closes on November 1, 2019.
For proposals requesting grant funding, two stages of grant funding are available:
- Stage 1: $10,000 – $75,000 for proofs of concept
- Stage 2: $50,000 – $100,000 for demonstrations
Criteria and Application
Primary evaluation criteria for proposals are the five prioritization criteria identified in the Decarb Strategy & Programs Roadmap.
- Customer & Community Value
- Emissions Impact
- Scalable & Transferable
- Equity in Service
- Core Role for SVCE
Secondary evaluation criteria include but are not limited to the following.
- Staff resource impacts
- Acceptance of the terms and conditions in the standardized partnership agreements
- Co-funding for project, such as in-kind labor or other grant funding
Additionally, SVCE may identify one or more focus areas for funding rounds, based on current needs and timing of other strategic initiatives. For the Fall 2019 application period, SVCE will prioritize innovative mobility solutions. Nevertheless, all types of projects are welcome to apply and SVCE will consider all submissions.
Innovation Onramp Intro Webinar
SVCE held a webinar for the Fall 2019 application cycle on October 9th, 2019, to provide an overview and additional details on the program approach, key areas of interest, evaluation criteria and the application and review process. A recording of the webinar and the presentation slides can be found below.
The Innovation Onramp is now accepting applications through 5 p.m. PDT, November 1, 2019. To submit your application, please complete the application form below. The application form is also accessible in a Word document form here in the Application form – Word document .
As part of the application form, applicants will be required to upload a completed Logic Model for their proposed pilot project, using the template provided below. An example of a completed Logic Model, as well as a Logic Model “cheat sheet” are provided for guidance.
All applications must be submitted through the online application. SVCE will not accept applications submitted via email.
*Please note that SVCE is a public agency subject to the requirements of the California Public Records Act, Cal. Gov. Code section 6250 et seq. (“CPRA”). All applications received will be subject to public disclosure, with the exception of those elements in each proposal which are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the CPRA.
Standardized Partnership Agreement
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA)? How does it differ from a typical utility (e.g. PG&E)?
Assembly Bill 117 was passed in 2002 to establish Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) also known as Community Choice Energy (CCE), a new way for California communities to provide local residents and businesses with a choice of electric providers and sources of electricity. CCAs replace an Investor-Owned Utility’s electric generation services with a local, publicly controlled electric generation service. In the SVCE service area, SVCE is responsible for purchasing electricity, which PG&E then distributes to homes and businesses. PG&E continues to provide billing service, account starts and stops, resolves outages, performs power line maintenance and remains responsible for all gas services. For more information, please visit: https://www.svcleanenergy.org/the-agency/.
When will Innovation Onramp open for new applications?
The next application round for Innovation Onramp opens September 16th and closes on November 1st. The focus of this round is mobility. An informational webinar will be held on October 9th, 2019. For more information, and to register for the webinar, please visit the Innovation Onramp webinar registration page. On an ongoing basis, SVCE anticipates holding semi-annual application rounds.
Who can apply to the Innovation Onramp program?
Anyone can apply to the Innovation Onramp program. Applicants may apply as a single entity, or a team with multiple partners may submit an application, with one party designated as the lead for purposes of contracting.
I submitted an application to Innovation Onramp previously but wasn’t selected – can I reapply?
Yes, you are welcome to reapply. You are encouraged to incorporate any feedback and insight that you may have received related to your previous application.
How do I get help tailoring my application and understanding SVCE’s priorities?
Please see the Innovation Onramp informational webinar for more information on the program and SVCE’s priorities. You may also reach out to email@example.com to ask questions and to solicit preliminary feedback on proposal concepts.
How are Innovation Onramp projects selected?
Applications are evaluated against a number of primary and secondary evaluation criteria. Please see the Innovation Onramp “Evaluation Criteria” webpage for more information. Additionally, SVCE may prioritize certain types of projects for funding rounds, based on current needs and timing of other strategic initiatives. For the Fall 2019 application round, SVCE will prioritize innovative mobility solutions. Please note that although the upcoming application round has a theme, all types of projects are welcome to apply. SVCE will consider all submissions.
Are there any priority areas of interest? Are there any topic areas that SVCE won’t fund?
SVCE may identify priority areas during certain rounds of solicitations. For the round of applications opening in October 2019, special focus will be placed on mobility solutions. Nevertheless, all projects are still welcome to apply.
SVCE will not fund pilot projects that are duplicative of existing or planned SVCE programs, or that are not sufficiently well-aligned with SVCE’s core functions and role. For example, a pilot project aimed at showcasing all-electric homes would be unlikely to be selected for an Innovation Onramp grant, as this would be duplicative of SVCE’s All Electric Showcase Award. Or, a pilot project that focuses on innovative ways to operate a high-DER penetration distribution system would also be unlikely to be funded, unless the distribution utility (PG&E) is a member of the application team.
Additionally, SVCE intends to amplify the impact of Innovation Onramp program by openly sharing results and lessons learned. As such, SVCE will not fund projects where the results cannot be widely disseminated.
What does SVCE consider “innovative”? Does a project need to have a technology aspect to be considered for Innovation Onramp?
SVCE takes a broad view of innovation. While some pilot projects may have a technology focus, others may employ innovative stakeholder engagement and outreach strategies, or innovative solutions to policy design and urban planning, for example. To improve your application’s chances of success, simply identify the problem you wish to address, how current solutions fall short, and how your project brings an innovative solution to the table. SVCE is also interested in deploying innovative solutions that have been piloted in other regions or contexts, to help facilitate achieving scale.
What is the maximum amount of funding I can apply for through Innovation Onramp?
Innovation Onramp offers grant funding at two levels: $10,000 – $75,000 for Phase 1 proof of concept projects, and $50,000 – $100,000 for Phase 2 demonstration projects. SVCE may also consider awarding grant funding above $100,000 threshold under special circumstances. Awarding of a Phase 1 grant does not guarantee Phase 2 funding.
What costs will Innovation Onramp grant funds cover? Are there any ineligible costs?
Innovation Onramp grant funds may be used for direct costs related to the pilot project. Examples of eligible costs include staff labor hours directly related to the pilot project, hardware equipment costs for technology demonstration projects, or travel expenses specifically related to project activities and deliverables.
Innovation Onramp grant funds may not be used for the following types of costs:
- Shared, indirect expenses such as administrative costs for offices or business operations
- Legal or other fees related to IP development, applications for patents, etc.
- Lobbying or contribution to political campaigns
How long will I have to implement my Innovation Onramp pilot project?
Pilot projects receiving Innovation Onramp grant funding should be completed in no more than 18 months from the time of contract execution.