One of Barack Obama’s presidential priorities is a future where America runs on cleaner, homegrown fuels. As part of his plan, Win the Future, the President has called for 80% of America’s electricity by 2035 to come from clean sources including wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. Below is a list of energy-related grants available to municipalities to help reach that vision.
Energy grants don’t have to be just for construction of facilities or reduction of energy costs. These Environmental Education (EE) Grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency support environmental education projects for increasing the public’s awareness of energy issues in a community. Municipalities are eligible to apply for grants that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, and that will serve as replicable models in a variety of settings. The US EPA is now accepting applications for this program. Proposals are due by February 4, 2014.
The United States Department of Agriculture awards Community Facility Grants to help develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. These grants can be used to fund energy projects, including the construction of buildings or the purchase of equipment required for a facility’s operation. The amount of grant assistance for project costs depends upon the median household income and the population in the community where the project is located and the availability of grant funds. Grant assistance may be available for up to 75% of project costs. A deadline for applications was not published online.
Rural municipalities with home energy costs over 275 percent of the national average are eligible for this grant program. Grants may be used for the acquisition, construction, installation, repair, replacement, or improvement of energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities in communities with extremely high energy costs. Examples of eligible activities include land acquisition, engineering or professional costs, renewable energy facilities, and backup or emergency power generation. The costs to implement energy efficiency and energy conservation measures, such as weatherization of residences and community facilities, energy-efficient, or energy saving appliances, are also eligible. The deadline for application submissions is unknown at this time.
Municipalities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana serviced by Duke Energy are eligible for grants from the Duke Energy Foundation. These grants are aimed toward initiatives that support the efficient use of energy. The application can be found online, and applications are accepted throughout the year. A past winner, the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and Citrus Economic Development Committee, was awarded $494 million dollars.
Here is an opportunity for municipalities in our home state of Illinois. More than $70 million are available to local governments in the state that make large-scale equipment improvements to their electric and natural gas systems. This money comes in the form of rebates, with a potential reimbursement for up to 75% of energy improvement costs. Potential projects include improvements to lighting equipment, HVAC equipment, gas equipment, variable speed drives, and kitchen equipment. The application is available online, and the deadline is May 15, 2014.
Our team of Grant Helpers, including Municipality Specialist Rebecca Motley, can help you find a grant to fit your specific needs. Check out our Grants for Municipalities page to see available grants. We can also assist in numerous other areas of grant research, writing, and planning. See a full list of services here.
Photo credit: Sean MacEntree