Posts Tagged California Energy Commission

Climate Change Grants

Posted by on Friday, 20 August, 2010

Federal funding is available for climate change research and education projects. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides monetary contribution to states as well as to cities, counties, and other local programs. The goal of ARRA is to support existing initiatives, so many of these projects form partnerships, with more funding provided by existing donor companies and local taxpayers.

The City of Minneapolis has an annual program which awards climate change grants, which was founded in 2007. The Minneapolis program is open to all types of applicants, from individuals to universities and corporations, and the 2010 program awards up to $10,000 per winner. One unique requirement for this grant is that the applicant should help people register for the Minnesota Energy Challenge.

The California Energy Commission awards climate change grants as part of its PIER program. PIER, or Public Interest Energy Research, supports both efficiency in energy use and projects which produce additional clean energy. PIER grants are large, as the California Energy Commission may provide up to $1 million in funding, and the project may also receive additional federal support.

The Department of Agriculture also awards climate change grants. These are some of the largest climate change grants available anywhere, as the USDA can award up to $25 million for a single project. This is even larger than the Department of Energy grants which average around $5 million. The Department of Agriculture is looking for methods which reduce the amounts of energy, water, and nitrogen based fertilizer that farmers require. These grants are also available to anyone, including individuals, and the Department of Agriculture will award smaller grants for projects with less requirements.

California also has a program available that supports small individual projects. The California Energy Commission created the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program, which provides as much as $95,000 for hardware demonstrations and up to $50,000 for projects which model climate change. This program allows small businesses to apply. These projects cover the same topics as the PIER request for proposals, just on a smaller scale.

Vermont also awards climate change grants. According to the Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, 17 projects throughout Vermont received $188,000 in total funding in 2009. Projects included replacing inefficient boilers at schoolhouses, adding efficient insulation to buildings, and replacing inefficient light bulbs such as incandescent bulbs. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources lists the grant conditions, which focus on small scale efficiency and conservation improvements that can easily be implemented in several Vermont communities.

North Coast Energy Independence Grants

Posted by on Wednesday, 14 April, 2010

A team of workers in the North Coast of California has been awarded grant funding from the federal government to help make houses and other buildings in Humboldt and other counties energy efficient. Humboldt State University students and alumni, as well as municipal staff and workers at consulting firms, successfully gained $4.4 million in grants that will be distributed by North Coast local governments.

Program funds are awarded through the California Energy Commission. As the commission received a total of $30 million for this program alone according to Humboldt State University, more grant money is available to other municipal governments that submit grant applications. Sonoma County received funds from this program as well. The Sonoma County Energy Independence serves as a model for the other counties covered in the application. According to Sonoma County, other North Coast counties distributing grant funds from this program include Mendocino, Lake, Del Norte, Trinity, and Siskiyou.

The California Energy Commission received grant money from several federal programs under the Recovery Act, for a total of $314.5 million in federal funding. The State Energy Program received the largest amount of federal funding, $221 million. This program is the main source of funding for the construction covered by the Home Star Program. The Home Star program provides rebates of up to several thousand dollars to reduce energy usage in residential housing. The State Energy Program adds funding for additional projects. For example, it includes grants to state and county governments to add insulation and repair the windows of state office buildings. This program also provides funding for green jobs programs. Often found at community colleges, such as College of the Redwoods, classes train workers about health and safety so that they can work in new careers. The state energy program also provides subsidized loans to businesses, so they can retrofit commercial buildings while borrowing at much lower interest rates than they would normally receive.