Bay Area Resilient Libraries Network Pilot
BayREN is seeking input on a new pilot program designed to develop a network of energy efficient and resilient local libraries that can also function as Community Resilience Centers (CRCs) to deliver resources before, during and/or after a natural hazard related events based on local needs. The pilot is open to Bay Area cities and counties in BayREN territory who are PG&E customers. The pilot application must indicate a lead agency, however, BayREN encourages cities and counties to coordinate with each other and with other community stakeholders when developing pilot applications. BayREN anticipates opening the pilot application process July – September 2022 and plans to hold an introductory workshop in late June 2022 (exact date TBD) to explain both the application criteria and the benefits of participating in the pilot. Read more about the pilot program.
The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) is a coalition of the Bay Area’s nine counties — a network of local governments partnering to promote resource efficiency at the regional level, focusing on energy, water, and greenhouse gas reduction. Led by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG),
BayREN offers rebates, funding, and technical assistance to help residents, property owners, business owners and local governments improve the resource-efficiency and carbon footprint of their buildings.
Many of the local governments that BayREN serves are currently working to develop Resilience Hubs, also called Community Resilience Centers (CRCs). According to the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), CRCs are “community-serving facilities augmented to 1) support residents and 2) coordinate resource distribution and services before, during and/or after a natural hazard event.1 The Bay Area has and will continue to experiencenatural hazard events such as flooding, wildfires, extreme heat, hazardous air quality and widespread power outages. Given that many Bay Area residents and businesses cannot provide access to spaces that mitigate the negative health impacts of these events, CRCs are an urgent and critical element of local adaptation strategies.
Building Local Energy Resilience
To help build local capacity and improve community energy efficiency and resilience, BayREN designed a new Public Sector Program, to be launched in 2024 subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission. The program includes free resources and engineering technical assistance to support local governments in integrating energy into local resilience planning. Prior to the new Public Sector program launch in 2024, BayREN sees an opportunity to develop a pilot project to help inform the design of the new Public Sector program and to support the integration of energy resilience and efficiency as priorities in local resilience planning. Because energy resilience is just one component of developing a successful CRC, through this pilot, BayREN will also convene key regional partners and identify additional funding sources for participants to support the non-energy related components of CRCs including community outreach and engagement, air quality upgrades and development of educational resources.
The very existence of libraries affords
the best evidence that we may yet have
hope for the future of man. —T.S. Eliot
The only thing that you absolutely have
to know, is the location of the library.
Pilot Objectives and Approach
The Bay Area Resilient Libraries Network Pilot
will convene local jurisdictions, regional agencies,
and other partners to support the development
of a network of local libraries throughout the
Bay Area that can also function as Community
Resilience Centers (CRC) based on local needs.
The pilot program is focused on libraries
because they are buildings that are established
gathering places for communities that already
provide valuable educational resources and
are typically welcoming municipal facilities
for diverse populations. Libraries are critical
community assets and are well positioned to
incorporate local resilience priorities based on
local community needs. BayREN will develop a
white paper at the conclusion of the pilot project
to share lessons learned and a framework for
replication with non-participating jurisdictions.
• Facilitate energy efficiency, distributed energy
resources, and other related improvements
and upgrades for libraries to increase their
• Create a network of libraries across the Bay
Area that can share challenges and learn
from each other during the pilot program and
• Better position pilot participants and the
region for future resilience related funding
The Bay Area Resilient Libraries Network pilot is
open to Bay Area cities or counties in BayREN
territory who are also PG&E customers.
Pilot Participation Criteria:
• City or County designated as lead applicant
with commited staff capacity to participate in
full pilot program
• Identified Library site with clear CRC goals
outlining communities that will be served and
the resources that will be provided (e.g. clean
air, cooling, back up power etc.)
• Municipal staff support identified and
engaged (both Public Works and Library staff)
• Potential community partners identified
Provide Your Feedback
BayREN is currently seeking input on the pilot
program design from Bay Area city and county staff
who may be interested in applying to participate.
Please share your thoughts and suggestions through
this online survey – responses will be collected
through May 13th 2022.
Please contact Aleka Seville at
firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
How to Participate
If you have interest in participating in the Bay Area Resilient Libraries Network pilot program, please take this brief survey to help us understand how to improve the pilot design!
Survey responses will be collected through Friday May 13th. Please contact Aleka Seville at email@example.com with any questions.