The follow-up to good planning is implementation. Many of our communities have projects in mind that require more funding than their yearly budget will allow. Finding appropriate funding sources for your energy projects can be a challenge. The links below have been compiled by TRORC staff and are checked on a quarterly basis for their accuracy.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
A number of partners in the promotion of energy efficient planning also offer links to potential funding sources. For those sites, please see the "Energy Planning Resources" section of our web site.
Clean Energy Development Fund
The CEDF was established in 2005 and is funded through proceeds due under the terms of two memoranda of understanding between the DPS and Entergy, an investor-owned electric utility operating in Vermont. Projects that are eligible for funding through CEDF's grant and loan programs include: Pre-Project Financial Assistance as well as small-scale, large-scale and community scale clean energy systems. Funding availability through CEDF is variable based program funding.
Vermont Small Scale Renewable Energy Program
Vermont's Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program, initiated in June 2003, provides funding for new solar water heating, solar electric (photovoltaic) , wind, and micro-hydro energy system installations. The program is available to single- and multi-family residences, commercial and industrial businesses, farms, schools, builders/developers, and local & state governments.
Vermont Business Energy Conservation Loan Program
The Vermont Business Energy Conservation Loan Program is a joint-effort between Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). Vermont businesses (including non-profits) involved in manufacturing (or processing and assembly of products), hospitality, services, farms, and retail are eligible, as long as they are 51% owned by US Citizens.
Projects must improve the energy efficiency of the building, and improvements to the thermal envelope, power, heating, ventilation and cooling systems, lighting, and energy efficiency HVAC equipment are generally eligible. In addition, companies who conduct energy audits would be eligible for loans on equipment needed to carry out their work.
New Generation Energy - Community Lending Program
New Generation Energy's Community Lending Program (CLP) was created in May, 2009 to strengthen low and middle income communities through green energy projects that have a high level of environmental, economic, health, and neighborhood-enhancement benefits. Their programs focus on loans to fund solar PV systems as well as solar thermal systems and food service energy efficiency.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, was funded for the first time by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009 although the program was authorized in Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) and signed into law on December 19, 2007. It is modeled after the Community Development Block Grant program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is intended to assist U.S. cities, counties, states, territories, and Indian tribes to develop, promote, implement, and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects.
Through formula and competitive grants, the Program empowers local communities to make strategic investments to meet the nation's long-term goals for energy independence and leadership on climate change. Funding for Municipal energy projects through the EECBG program is generally disbursed through the State of Vermont or (within our region) TRORC.
New England Grassroots Environment Fund
NEGEF's small grants program provides grants to groups working on community level issues in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The Fund interprets the word 'environment' broadly and will provide funding for a wide range of activities. Whole systems-thinking is critical to initiatives focused on making our environment better, healthier and more sustainable.
Small grants are intended to support community groups who represent the most exciting energy in the environmental movement that are not being reached by traditional funders. Funding can be used for a wide range of needs but should be tied to a community-based strategy to create robust local energy systems while engaging more neighbors in this work.
Ben and Jerry's Foundation
The Ben & Jerry's Foundation offers grants to no-for-profit grassroots organizations throughout the United States which facilitate social change by addressing the underlying conditions of social and environmental problems. Although the Ben & Jerry's Foundation doesn't prioritize any particular issue area for funding, they do focus on the types of activities and strategies an organization uses for creating social change in any number of areas. The Foundation will only consider proposals from grassroots, constituent-led organizations that are organizing for systemic social change. They support programs and projects that are examples of creative problem-solving.
USDA Rural Energy for America Program Grants (REAP Grants)
Funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program, the REAP Grant Program will provide grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. It also provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.
The program is designed to assist farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses that are able to demonstrate financial need. All agricultural producers, including farmers and ranchers, who gain 50% or more of their gross income from the agricultural operations are eligible. Small businesses that are located in a rural area can also apply. Rural electric cooperatives may also be eligible to apply. For energy audits and renewable energy development assistance, eligible entities include a unit of State, tribal, or local government; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or a public power entity.
Efficiency Vermont is operated by an independent, non-profit organization under contract to the Vermont Public Service Board, which provides technical assistance and financial incentives to Vermont households and businesses, to help them reduce their energy costs with energy-efficient equipment and lighting and with energy-efficient approaches to construction and renovation. Efficiency Vermont offers a wide range of incentives and rebates to encourage energy efficiency upgrades, including: