Government Grant Money for Green Energy
A Wind Farm in West Texas
How to Find Government Grants for Green Energy
Green Energy is by no means fading in popularity. It continues to be a major focus for governments all across the world.
Government grants for green energy are available through several sources and are used to further research in this area, install or enhance green sources of energy, prevent pollution through green energy and other initiatives that are needed to expand our use of renewable energy and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels or other unsustainable (and often polluting) sources.
Types of Grant-Funded Initiatives:
Grant-funded initiatives can address a number of goals, such as cleaner air, renewable energy, research, construction or retrofitting and other costs related to Green Energy.
Organizations or corporations interested in pursuing grant funding for Green Energy should learn the requirements of working with grants as well as how and where to apply and what restrictions are put on the use of the money.
This will vary with each grant, its funding source, and the purposes for which it is intended.
If your company is undergoing major renovations or construction, consider becoming a Green Certified Business or securing a Certified Green Consultant to help you manage the grant project successfully.
Green Energy Replaces Energy Sources that Pollute the Environment
How to Apply for Grants, and How Grant Funding Works
One of the first things you should understand, at least briefly, is how grant funding works. Depending on the grant provider, there will be varying levels of information required for the grant and varying types of accountability. Government grants generally require far more extensive applications as well as reporting processes.
A few basics about grant applications:
Grant Deadlines: All grants will have a deadline, and if you miss the deadline by even a few minutes, your application will generally be rejected. If the grant Request for Proposals says the deadline is 10 a.m. next Monday, you need to have the entire package delivered by then. In some cases, a stamped return-receipt postmark will serve as proof of submitting the grant on time.
Grant Formatting, Presentation and Required Copies: These look like silly requirements (we are, after all, talking about the government), but they are often used to filter out applicants before they're even considered. Don't be surprised if the application specifies typeface (including the size), margin widths, the minimum and maximum number of pages for each section, the number of signatures (including the titles of those who should sign), notarization and a certain number of copies.
They may even required paper with holes punched for three-ring binders, and rubber bands around each copy. Don't ask why - just read the requirements ahead of time, have a good laugh (or a long groan) and go with it. If they require 10 copies, give them 10 copies.
Budgets: Most government grants require extensive budget information, and the funds often cannot be used for certain expenses in your organization's budget. It is not unusual to have to include detailed expense information about such things as staff positions to be funded through administrative costs, benefits for staff, value-added outcomes, utility expenses directly related to activities funded by the grant, supplies and many other details.
Grants can restrict the use of funds for various expenses, such as operational expenses (maybe the grant will pay for equipment but not people), travel, administrative costs, or any other expense the funding agent wishes to restrict.
Grant Reporting and Outcomes: A government grant will generally require you to specify the outcome you will provide through the program or operation the grant funds. These are generally measurable outcomes and reporting can be done annually (rare for government grants), quarterly or on another schedule. Your application will usually need to specify the results, quantify what you will do for each reporting period and specify how you will document and report results.
Government Grants for Green Energy
Here are a few examples of government grant programs in the United States for various types of Green Energy. State programs will have further options, and there may also be local grants offered at the city or county level.
Renewable Energy (Cash Grants): Offers one-time cash grants for up to 30 percent of the cost of constructing and installing renewable sources such as solar, landfill gas and wind energy for taxpayers eligible for the tax credits for business energy investments.
Government Incentives for Green Power: This website has information about various initiatives at the state and federal level to promote renewable and sustainable energy.
Technical Assistance Grants: This program helps fund the cost of evaluating a building's energy consumption and identifying energy-savings opportunities.
These are just a few of the types of grants available for Green Energy. Check your area's energy or environmental agency for local opportunities, and monitor federal agencies related to the environment or energy for Requests for Proposals. The list can change almost daily as new money is released or new programs are developed.
How Green Energy Grants can Accelerate Depreciation
Grants and Depreciation
As the video on this page points out, one added value some grants offer is an accelerated depreciation schedule for projects funded through the grant. This means a grant recipient can take deductions for depreciation faster than normally provided for in the tax code. The advantage to this is that it frees up more money to be used in the immediate or near future than a longer depreciation schedule would offer.