funding opportunity

Finding Funding Opportunities

I get a lot of questions about how to find grant opportunities and RFPs (Request for Proposals), and so I decided it’s about time I share some resources!

There are a number of places to look for funding opportunities. Here are some of my favorites:

California’s Local Government Energy Efficiency Portal
This portal is a great service provided by the Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator. They shares resources, best practices, news and events and other information with those involved with Local Government Partnerships. You can sign up to get the weekly email, which we share on this blog each week. This email often includes a list of funding opportunities for eligible local and tribal governments. The portal also includes a detailed summary of funding opportunity resources for local governments that may be found here.

California Energy Commission (CEC)
It's always great to get money for what you want to grow.
Photo source: Terrain Magazine
The CEC funds a variety of projects and types of agencies. Current solicitations can be found here and are searchable based on program areas. I recommend subscribing to the list serve so you are up to date with contract notices as they’re released.

The CEC also funds “energy innovation” projects through the EPIC (Electricity Program Investment Charge) Program. These projects address environmental impacts and usually include program design, research and development, technology deployment, and market facilitation. Current solicitations include vehicle-grid integration, biomass-to-energy systems for food waste sector, and developing ZNE (zero net energy) buildings.
All federal grants are submitted through this website. Unfortunately, solicitations and RFPs are a little hard to find through their system, but you can sign up for email notifications regarding new funding opportunities. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) has a much easier advanced search system. If you find something in CFDA, you can more easily search for the specific grant solicitation on to apply.

FDO Professional
FDO Professional allows you to search foundations that fund your industry in your area. This service is fee based, but you can access it for free from “Funding Information Network locations” in your area; just bring a flash drive for any information or lists of foundations you want to download. Many libraries, including Fresno County Public Library, Stanislaus County Library and Tulare Public Library are “Funding Information Network locations”. Check them out!

Do you have other resources to share? What’s your favorite?

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your WEEkly Updates:

1. Registration has opened for the 7th Annual SEEC Forum! The Forum will be held June 15th-16th in Riverside, CA and will feature updates from key state leaders, up to 16 breakout sessions sharing local government energy and climate best practices and lessons learned, and constant networking opportunities to learn the latest in energy activities from across the state. Registration is no-cost to local governments. Click here to learn more or to register.

2. Interested in having a CivicSpark AmeriCorps fellow during the 2016-17 service year? CivicSpark is a great way for local governments to find capacity for energy efficiency and sustainability efforts - and educate future local government leaders. The program is recruiting now, and is ready to answer your questions. Informational webinars will be held Wednesday, April 13th at 1pm and Wednesday, April 27th at 10am. Click here to register.

3. Resources and Opportunities at the State Level, 101: In response to local government requests, SEEC will be holding a webinar: State-Level EE 101: Agencies Furthering Energy Efficiency, How they Work, & Resources & Processes Local Governments Can Leverage.  The goal will be to give local government energy efficiency leaders a sense of what opportunities there are on the state level to provide feedback, shape current activities, and leverage state requirements and resources in strategic planning and implementation of energy projects. For more information, and registration, click here.

4. Best practices for Zero Net Energy: NREL Commercial Buildings Principal Engineer Paul Torcellini will participate in an upcoming ASHRAE Webcast - Making Net Zero Positive: Solving the Efficiency and Cost Paradox - April 21, 2016 at 1:00pm. Click here for more information and registration.

5. For those that missed the AB 802 workshop held by the CEC last week, notes on items discussed and a link to the saved recording on the CEC’s website is available here. Any comments must be submitted to the CEC by April 8th.

6. The Energy Data Access Committee also met last week – a summary of items discussed that may be of interest to local governments is available here.

7. The Alliance to Save Energy’s recent article shares why homeowners should care about building energy codes: energy efficiency adds value to a home. A great initiative adding transparency to this, and empowering homebuyers and sellers to make market-driven choices and improvements is the application of the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score in Berkeley’s new Building Energy Savings Ordinance (BESO). Read more on the Ordinance's goals, and implementation, here.

8. While on residential programs, congratulations to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments for a strong first year of their Energy Assessment Screening for Your Home, or “EASY” Program! Supported by the SCE and SCG through the San Gabriel Valley Energy Watch, the EASY Program provides residents with free home assessments and customized home reports with information on smart upgrade opportunities as well as utility incentives to support them. As of January, the EASY Program had provided well over 100 assessments in 19 cities. For more information, click here.

9. High-tech EE in residential: The U.S. DOE has a great story and video on high-tech options on the horizon for residential. Click here to review.

10. Jumping to EE activities in the commercial sector: the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE have released their 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award winners to honor outstanding achievements in energy efficiency – which include two businesses in California. Click here to learn what these businesses are doing to save energy, and share some great ideas your commercial community partners.

11. More value for commercial partners: for 6 Benefits of Becoming a Sustainable Business, learn more in an Environmental Leader article here.

12. EE Opportunities in IT: Many think of server closets and data centers as spaces that just have to use lots of energy. However, the energy intensity of data center and IT space often makes it ripe for opportunities to save. Microsoft’s new data center Sustainability Chief explains how energy efficiency saves money and allows greater operation in a smaller footprint, here. For more resources on energy efficiency in IT, click here.

13. The California Financing Coordinating Committee has released its 2016 Funding Fair schedule – the Fair events are a great way for local and tribal governments to connect with a variety of financing and funding opportunities for water and energy infrastructure projects. To learn more and review the schedule, click here.

14. Funding review: This was a popular item last week, so for those that missed it: $569M has been made available from federal agencies for energy and other activities – click here to learn more. A new U.S. Department of Transportation grant program has made $800M available, with applications due April 14th: More here.

15. Congratulations also to the City of Hayward for winning the Acterra 2016 Business Environmental Award for its green power initiative at the City’s water pollution plant! Learn more about how the City is leveraging incoming credits from renewable generation to fund energy efficiency and sustainability projects (and connect to a great video on operations at the facility).

16. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has developed a list of Title 24 energy code trainings that will be made available through different ICC chapters. Click here for more information.

17. The CEC’s 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update is underway: click here to learn about scoped Update topics and schedule for release.

As always, you can keep track of relevant events by connecting to the EE Events Calendar, and find more resources being added daily on the EECoordinator website

That is All For This Week!

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:
  1. Request for Resources: Achieving Energy Efficiency through Behavior Change
    CivicSpark fellows are looking for resources, case studies, activities, and ideas for achieving energy efficiency through behaviour change at municipalities, businesses, and by residents. If you have any resources, ideas, or examples, please send them to
  2. 1/22 Workshop: What's Next for the RENs?
    The purpose of this workshop will be to discuss and compare the two recent EM&V study reports completed on the Regional Energy Network (REN) pilots and to consider how the studies should inform appropriate next steps for the RENs. Senior staff from study consultant firms Itron and Opinion Dynamics with contributing firm Apex will comprise a panel of experts to inform the discussion and field Q&A. Energy Division's EM&V advisor Katherine Johnson will also be present on the panel. More information on the Energy Calendar.
  3. The Funding Wizard on is back online!
    The Funding Wizard is a searchable database of grants, rebates and incentives to help you pay for sustainable projects, all in one place! The Funding Wizard combs the Internet for funding opportunities in categories such as energy, air quality and climate change, transportation, urban development, waste management, water, and more.
  4. RFP: Santa Barbara County CCA Feasibility Study
    Santa Barbara County is inviting proposals for professional consulting services to develop a technical feasibility study on Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) for the central coast region, including participating in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties. The full Request for Proposals (RFP), including submittal instructions are posted online. Proposals must be submitted by 11:59pm on Monday, January 25, 2016.
  5. NYC Carbon Challenge: Handbook for Universities and Hospitals
    This reference manual highlights some of the best practices for reducing building-based energy use and GHG emissions from the universities and hospitals participating in the NYC Carbon Challenge.
  6. New "light recycling" incandescent bulbs could outperform energy-efficient LEDs
    MIT researchers are working to change the way in which incandescent bulbs work to give the industry an additional option for energy-efficient lighting. The research centers on the fact that about 95% of the energy used to heat the filament to the point that it emits visible light is wasted - the goal is to capture that energy and enable the bulb to in essence power itself.
  7. Calendar of Energy-Related Events
    Please forward events to so that they can be added to the calendar.

And that is all for this week!

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:
Currents Winter 2015 Issue
You don't want to miss the latest issue of Currents! Some notable articles and resources include: 
Save the Date! 1/15 - Launch of EE Coordinating Committee
A new regulatory advisory body is forming and may be a major force in shaping future CPUC programs and proceedings. The first public meeting to discuss the next steps regarding launching a stakeholder engagement process to vet the forthcoming Program Administrator EE business plans will be held on January 15th, from 10am-4:30pm at PG&E's Pacific Energy Center in SF. This event on the Energy Calendar will be updated with the dial-in info once it has been made available. If you have any questions, please reach out to Lara Ettenson at NRDC (
CPUC Ruling re: High Opportunity EE Programs

In addition to determining what "high opportunity programs or projects" are, and how to authorize them, this ruling addresses several ancillary issues relating to such programs or projects: 1. Preliminary interpretation of the phrase "estimated energy savings and energy usage reductions, taking into consideration the overall reduction in normalized metered energy consumption as a measure of energy savings;" 2. How to determine the cost-effectiveness of such programs and projects; 3. Customer incentive levels and timing; 4. How to evaluate, measure, and verify savings from such programs and projects ex post; 5. How to set shareholder incentives for such programs and projects.

Recap of EE in 2015 and Prospects for 2016
2015 was a good year for energy efficiency - 2016 could be even better. Check out this article on the many successes for EE this past year and what's ahead this year on a national level.
Enterprise Internet of Things: What Is It and How Will It Improve Energy Management

Those charged with a facility's energy management are beginning to hear the phrase "Internet of Things" (IoT) increasingly more often within the industry, and many are asking how to use the concept of the Enterprise IoT to leverage data in their buildings and find opportunities for improvement.

RFP: emPower Central Coast Energy Coach
The emPower Central Coast program of the Energy and Sustainability Division of the County of Santa Barbara request proposals from qualified professionals to serve by contract as "Energy Coach" primarily for the San Luis Obispo County area. The "Energy Coach" is a program offering aimed at providing greater assistance to homeowners and contractors participating in the emPower Central Coast EE program. Proposals must be submitted by 5:00pm on Monday, January 18, 2016.

And that is all for this week!

Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

1.  The CEC adopted the AB 758 Action Plan 
Adopted on Wednesday, September 9, an important step to meeting state goals to double energy savings in existing buildings. It also establishes a new Local Government Energy Challenge, which will fund implementation of existing best practices and the development of new innovative energy reduction strategies. Click here for more information.

2.  The CEC released 3 funding opportunities
Opportunities aimed at addressing non-technical barriers in the successful path to clean technology commercialization (see list below). Learn more at The CEC is holding public pre-bid workshops on 9/15 in Oakland, 9/16 in Fresno, and 9/22 in Lynwood.

- Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative ($33M to support early development of promising new energy concepts)
- Regional Energy Innovation Cluster ($20M to 4 regions - SF Bay Area, Central Valley, LA, San Diego)
- Connecting Emerging Technologies and Strategies to Market Needs and Opportunities ($7M to undertake market assessment to optimize future EPIC investments).

3.  Local Government Commission seeks Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator
The Coordinator facilitates a statewide focus both in gathering exemplary policies and practices, and tracking progress on a statewide level on government facility and community energy use, retrofits, and strategic plan metrics. Application deadline is October 2nd. Learn more at

4.  OPR seeks comments by October 12
Comments will be about the Preliminary Discussion Draft or Proposed Updates to the CEQA Guidelines. Comments may be submitted to

5.  Early-bird registration open for 2015 ACEEE Intelligent Efficiency Conference
Event will bring together people from the IT, telecom, energy efficiency, utility, solution provider, policy, and energy consumers sectors to share and learn how information and communications technology can improve the use of energy. Learn more and register at

6.  New Reports to check out:
- California's Manufacturing and Benefits of Energy Efficiency
- California Climate Policy to 2050: Pathways for Sustained Prosperity
- Achieving California's Greenhouse Gas Goals: A Focus on Transportation
- State & Regional Carbon Pricing & GHG Regulation under EPA's Clean Power Plan

7.  Click here to view a calendar of energy-related events.
The calendar is currently being developed and will be updated on a weekly basis. If you have any events you would like added to the calendar, please send details to

And that is all for this week!

EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Smart Growth Assistance

Feb. 13, 2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today is inviting applications from communities interested in exploring barriers to smart growth and testing innovative strategies that can create healthier, more sustainable places to live, work, and play.

EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program provides technical assistance to help communities grow in ways that improve the local economy, the environment, and people’s health. The program aims to help applicants develop solutions to local challenges, such as managing storm water  increasing transit-oriented development, and adapting to climate change, and to share those solutions with other communities.

EPA will be accepting applications from tribal, local, regional, and state governments and nonprofit organizations that have partnered with a governmental entity for their request for assistance. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2013. EPA will provide assistance to three to four communities selected from this round of applications.

EPA is seeking applications in the following four categories:

1.    Community Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change – Projects should aim to develop planning principles and building design guidelines that ensure future development provides communities with better protection against storms, floods, and other natural disasters.

2.    Redevelopment for Job Creation – Projects should aim to support growing industries that provide quality jobs for existing residents using land use policies that direct development to existing neighborhoods, are pedestrian-friendly, allow for transit connections, and are close to businesses and public services.

3.    Manufactured and Modular Homes in Sustainable Neighborhood Design – Projects should help communities that are using manufactured and modular homes to address sudden population and economic growth. These communities should provide a mix of uses and maximize existing streets and other infrastructure investments, community gathering spaces, and water and energy efficiency.

4.    Medical and Social Service Facilities Siting – Projects should aim to explore planning for high-quality community service facilities, including health care centers and social services centers, in ways that support neighborhood economic development and healthy communities.

Since 2005, the SGIA program has helped an array of communities from across the country on issues such as stormwater management, code revision, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, infill development, corridor planning, green building, and climate change. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) became involved with the SGIA program through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. This interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. In many cases, HUD and DOT serve on the SGIA technical assistance teams, and help identify how SGIA projects can complement and build on past and future federal investments.

More information on the SGIA program and applications:

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities:

Latisha Petteway (News Media Only)

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