One of the greatest challenges to climate action planning and implementation is funding availability. Carbon conscious provides members information on grants, rebates and low-interest loan programs designed specifically for local climate action plans, greenhouse gas inventories, public outreach programs and projects that reduce GHG emissions.

Carbon conscious grant writing and management services also save members time and money. Each major source of funding, including public agencies, nonprofit organizations and corporations, has its own detailed application process, program requirements and verification procedures. Members have access to experienced staff who can locate the most beneficial funding sources and can convey the necessity of your project to grant providers.

Click on one of the categories below to view current funding opportunities. Please note that some of these opportunities are specific to a state or region.


Urban Greening Plans for Sustainable Communities Grant Program

Next round of funding information:

Currently, the Strategic Growth Council’s Urban Greening Grants are in the second of three funding rounds and up to $5 Million in Fiscal Year 2011/12 will be awarded. There are no minimum award amounts. The maximum request for funding is $250,000. Larger grant awards may be considered for organizations that work together to develop joint planning documents that cover all jurisdictions involved. Matching funds are not required.

Organizations that are eligible applicants are defined in the statute as: Council of Governments, Countywide Authority, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Local Government (city, county, city and county), Joint Powers Authority if at least one of the parties to the joint powers agreement qualifies as an eligible applicant, Nonprofit Organization, or Special District. These grant funds are to be used for the purpose of creating urban greening plans that will serve as the master document guiding and coordinating greening projects in the applicant’s jurisdiction.

Applications will be accepted April 1, 2011 through May 15, 2011. Awards are anticipated to be announced late 2011 and are contingent upon inclusion in and enactment of the State budget and available cash.

EPA Climate Showcase Communities Program

Due Date: Unknown

Ten million dollars are available for innovative, replicable sustainability projects and programs in the summer of 2010. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a competitive grant program in 2009 to assist local and tribal governments in establishing and implementing climate change initiatives. The goal of the Climate Showcase Communities grant program is to create replicable models of sustainable community action that generate cost-effective and persistent greenhouse gas reductions while improving the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community. To see the 2009 awardees and to learn more about the program, please visit the EPA website at

The 24 communities were selected in the first round of funding. An additional 25 communities were selected in the second round of funding and will be announced in Spring 2011. EPA will offer peer exchange, training, and technical support to grant recipients, and encourage replication across the country to promote the creation of sustainable climate management programs that are not only the foundation for stabilizing our climate, but also create jobs and fulfill other local government priorities.

Clean Cities Community Readiness and Planning for Plug-In Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

Due Date: June 13, 2011

The President has a goal of putting 1 million advanced technology vehicles on the road in the United States by 2015. In support of this goal and emphasizing electricity as a transportation fuel, this funding opportunity seeks projects to plan and implement policies, procedures, and incentives that facilitate that development. The planning and policy activities will prepare communities for successful deployment and implementation of plug-in electric drive vehicles. Overall, this effort will help to decrease the nation’s dependence on petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric drive vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment.

The DOE will be awarding grants between $250,000 and $500,000 to support communities and the growth of the electric vehicle market. For more information visit

Federal Safe Routes to School Grants

Due Date: July 15, 2011

The U.S. Department of Transportation is soliciting grant applications for the development or implementation of Safe Routes to School Programs by City or County agencies and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. This federal funding program emphasizes community collaboration in the development of projects, and projects that incorporate elements of the 5 E’s education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and evaluation.

Grant applications will be accepted until July 15, 2011 and more information can be found at the following Caltrans website:

Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration Public Works, Economic Adjustment, and Global Climate Change Mitigation Programs Opportunity – Likely ~$25 Million

Application Due: Depends on funding cycle; next funding cycle is due to begin in March 2011

Eligible Entities: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, non-profits, private institutes of higher education

DOC’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) helps distressed communities establish a foundation for durable regional economies throughout the United States. EDA generally allocates funds for the Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund (GCCMIF) to support projects that foster economic competitiveness while enhancing environmental quality.

EDA anticipates that these funds will be used to advance the green economy by supporting projects that create jobs through and increase private capital investment in initiatives to limit the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, enhance energy efficiency, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and protect natural systems.

While the amount of funding available through this opportunity is dependent on FY2011 appropriations and is not yet known, EDA allocated $25,000,000 for the GCCMIF in 2010. The average size of a GCCMIF investment was approximately $840,000.

For more info on this grant opportunity, including regional contacts, go to:


Energy Conservation Assistance Account Program (ECAA)

The California Energy Commission (CEC) offers 1-3 percent interest loans to help local jurisdictions, public schools, public colleges and public hospitals invest in energy efficiency as part of the Energy Conservation Assistance Account (ECAA) Program.

For more information, please visit the CEC ECAA website.

Rebates and Incentives

The California Solar Initiative

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted the California Solar Initiative to provide more than $3 billion in incentives for solar energy projects on existing and new residential and nonresidential buildings. The program offers expected performance-based buydowns for solar electricity and solar thermal installations.

For more information on applying for the buydown program, please visit the CPUC Go Solar website.

California’s Rebate Program for Wind & Fuel Cell Renewable Energy Electric-Generating Systems

The California Energy Commission offers cash rebates for small-scale wind and fuel cell renewable energy installations through their Emerging Renewables Program (ERP).

For more information and to apply, please visit the Consumer Energy Center.

PG&E Demand Response Program

PG&E’s Demand response program offers incentives to small and large businesses as well as local government agencies to curtail their energy use during times of peak demand. Participants can recieve as much as a 20% discount by committing to reduce their energy demand by at least 20% (with 24 hours notice from PG&E) during times of peak demand.

For more information on enrolling your agency or business in the demand response program please visit:

Assistance Programs

California Energy Commission Bright Schools Program

The Bright Schools Program helps California K-12 school districts and nonprofit schools reduce energy costs in their facilities. The program assists in conducting energy audits, reviewing existing proposals and designs, and developing equipment performance specifications. For more information and to apply for assistance, please visit the Bright Schools Program website.

California Energy Commission Energy Partnership Program

The Energy Partnership Program assists California cities, counties, special districts, and public or nonprofit hospitals, public care facilities, and colleges/universities to reduce energy costs in their facilities. The program assists in conducting energy audits, reviewing existing proposals and designs, and developing equipment performance specifications. For more information and to apply, please visit the Energy Partnership Program website.

Energy Upgrade California is an alliance among California counties, cities, non-profit organizations, government agencies, the state’s investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric, and publicly-owned utilities.

The goals of this statewide effort are four-fold:

  1. Help residential and commercial consumers and the building industry become knowledgeable about the many energy and water efficiency programs and financing options that will be available during the next several years including the State Energy Programs, utility company home upgrade programs, local rebates, appliance and renewable energy rebates and energy financing programs.
  2. Provide a consistent and clear message regarding how consumers can choose the best energy-efficient measures and the right contractors to provide those services.
  3. Drive consumers and contractors to a central resource that provides educational information that links all the state energy efficiency upgrade, rebates, and incentive programs.
  4. Educate the building trades and home improvement industry on jobs, training, and required certifications.

Funding for this effort comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), California utility ratepayers, and private contributions. Energy upgrade rebates are administered by participating utilities.

For more information:

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