Energy costs can be a significant and unpredictable expense for organizations of all kinds, particularly in New England where energy rates are high and heating seasons are long. New Hampshire businesses, nonprofit organizations, and municipalities pursuing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean technology projects, can offset the burden of energy costs while reducing their impact on the environment.
Whether the goal is reducing future energy and maintenance costs, improving comfort, reducing health and safety concerns, or meeting clean energy and carbon reduction objectives, clean energy investments will benefit your organization, your customers and your community. To help accomplish these goals, you may be eligible for financing and funding support from the Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA).
Energy Audit Grants for Businesses
Jennifer Briggs, owner of A Place to Grow in Brentwood, NH took advantage of CDFA’s Small Business Energy Audit grant program and Clean Energy Fund financing in 2019. She noted, “The energy audit helped guide our decision-making and was the first step in understanding how to pursue energy independence. CDFA supported me throughout the process with financial resources, technical assistance, and making connections to additional USDA grant opportunities.”
Weatherization, lighting upgrades and installation of heat pumps reduced energy use by 58%, and a 14kW solar installation saved the business over $400 a month compared to the previous summertime months. Read more about this project in G.E.T.’s November 2019 issue at http://www.greenenergytimes.org/2019/11/15/a-place-to-grow/.
Small Business Energy Audit Fund grants cover 75% of the cost of a comprehensive energy audit. CDFA works with businesses to select an energy auditor, provide low-cost financing for implementation and identify other sources of funding including utility incentives and USDA loans and grants.
Other New Hampshire business grant recipients include: Rattle River Hostel & Lodge (Shelburne), House By the Side of the Road (Garden Center in Wilton), Geokon, LLC (Manufacturer in Lebanon), Britton Lumber Co. (Bath), Malnati Farm (Walpole), and Road Hawg BBQ & Swine Dining (Gorham).
Funding for this program is provided by a USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant.
New Energy Study Grants for Municipalities and Nonprofit Organizations
NH municipalities and nonprofit organizations have a new opportunity to apply for grant funding to reduce the cost of energy-related studies. In October 2020, CDFA launched the Community Facilities Energy Assessment and Technical Assistance Grant Program to cover 75% of the cost of eligible studies. The program provides expertise that will help guide organizations to important decisions about their facility improvements. Grants can support energy analysis at various stages of design.
Energy audits, energy design charrettes, solar feasibility studies, and structural analyses to support the addition of roof insulation or solar are examples of eligible studies. Funded studies will identify and support the implementation of projects that reduce future operating and maintenance costs and improve building comfort and health, allowing organizations and communities to better support their core missions.
Funding for this program is provided by a USDA Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training grant.
Clean Energy Fund Low-Interest Loans
CDFA’s financing resources support municipalities, nonprofits and businesses with flexible terms for projects ranging from heating equipment and thermal envelope upgrades to renewable energy installations. Loans of up to $500,000 are available with the goal of creating cash-flow positive projects.
CDFA has financed large municipal solar arrays, efficiency projects for low-income housing, and a variety of commercial clean energy projects. Moving forward, the organization looks to support investments in battery storage, electric fleet vehicle charging, and new clean energy technologies.
Applications for all clean energy programs are accepted on a rolling basis.
For more information about CDFA’s programs contact Scott Maslansky, Director of Clean Energy Finance (603-717-9123 / firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit https://resources.nhcdfa.org/programs/clean-energy-fund/.
The Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) is a statewide nonprofit public authority focused on maximizing the value and impact of community development, economic development and clean energy initiatives throughout New Hampshire.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports housing, infrastructure improvements, business development, high-speed broadband service, and community facilities servicing education, public safety and health care. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.