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BMO supports solar energy solutions for low-income families and Native American communities in the U.S.

September 19, 2023 | Purpose

Today, BMO announced a $3 million donation in support of GRID Alternative’s (GRID) low-to-no cost solar energy systems and storage, clean mobility, and job training programs for underserved families throughout California and Colorado and Tribal communities across the western United States. GRID, the nation’s leading nonprofit solar installer, partners with organizations to build community-powered solutions to enable access to renewable energy.   

It is increasingly apparent that communities that face systematic inequality are also disproportionately impacted by climate change and climate disasters. Investments to support climate resilience and economic wellbeing are a critical lever to supporting these communities.  

“BMO has a critical role to play in building a more sustainable future for the communities we serve. Our partnership with GRID will help fund a transition to renewable energy that is equitable, inclusive and makes a positive impact.”  

-Melissa Fifield
Head, BMO Climate Institute  

With today’s announcement, BMO’s support will help GRID install solar systems for 1,200 families and provide 250 battery powered systems and 1,400 charging stations for individuals in underserved communities over the next three years. These installations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 145,000 tons per year and transition participants’ energy consumption to be 70 – 80% solar. BMO’s funding will also enable GRID to expand its relationships with Tribal communities to develop local talent through workforce development programming and solar installation training.       

“We are excited for this new partnership with BMO. This investment will help us in our efforts to ensure that communities that have historically faced climate injustice and pollution have access to the benefits of renewable energy. We are grateful to BMO for their support and their commitment to creating sustainable communities.”

– Erica Mackie
Chief Exectuive Officer, GRID Alternative

Over the past year, BMO employees have volunteered with GRID to install solar panels for families across California.  On September 15, Team BMO spent a day in Richmond and as a result, the household is expected to save over $28,683 during the lifetime of the system, offsetting 60 tons of greenhouse gas. BMO will host additional employee volunteer days this year and throughout the term of the partnership.   

BMO’s Climate Ambition is to be our clients’ lead partner in the transition to a net-zero world. The bank launched the BMO Climate Institute in 2021 to help our clients and our business better understand and accelerate the adoption of climate solutions.  In 2021, BMO also established a dedicated Energy Transition Group to support clients’ pursuit of opportunities driven by the global economy’s shift in the production and consumption of energy.    

BMO’s donation to GRID reflects our ongoing commitment to supporting underserved and unserved communities in California and continues a legacy partnership that was started by Bank of the West that aligns with our Climate Ambition and is part of our more than $40 billion commitment to supporting organizations in communities across the United States.

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