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Government Grant Money for Green Energy

Updated on October 5, 2016
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy lives in Austin, Texas and has written about environmental issues and conservation for more than a decade.

A Wind Farm in West Texas

Wind Energy is popular in states like Texas, with wide-open spaces that can be used for wind farms.
Wind Energy is popular in states like Texas, with wide-open spaces that can be used for wind farms. | Source

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.

Additional Options:

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

Smokestacks such as this have been a source of pollution for more than a century.
Smokestacks such as this have been a source of pollution for more than a century. | Source

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.

What do you think?

How important do you think it is to use Green Energy?

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you, Jackie! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting here!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Nybride (and I am laughing at your hopelessly hippyish phrase - I'm going to borrow it someday!) - thanks so much for your take on this subject; it sounds like you are very familiar with one of the major industries that help people Go Green!

    Many thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

    This is a very important message, well done.

  • nybride710 profile image

    Lisa Kroulik 5 years ago from Minnesota

    I am a freelance writer who writes a lot of article for HVAC companies. Green initiatives are huge right now, and don't appear to be going away any time soon. What may have once looked hopelessly hippyish is becoming more mainstream as people look to save money and the environment.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, teaches - thanks so much for the inside look at how your company brought employees on board to become more green! I appreciate your comments here!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    I worked for a conservation company that went green and the implementation of programs was so effective due to how they introduced the concept to employees. There is some work to this from the adminsitrative side, but the benefits will go beyond the company's and spread to the community. Good write up on this interesting topic.