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Grants to Oregon Nonprofits for Energy Efficiency Projects

Portland Clean Energy Community (PCEF) Community Responsive Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
City of Portland
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Oregon: Portland

Important Dates
Conference Date: 01/26/24
Deadline: 02/15/24 Save

Grant Description
Grants to Oregon nonprofit organizations in eligible locations for energy efficiency projects. Funding may be used for planning as well as implementation projects. The purpose of funding is to advance social, economic, and climate equity for underserved communities. Focus areas include renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, workforce development, transportation decarbonization, and green infrastructure. Applicants must be located in Portland.

Grant Types

Planning Grants: These grants support organizations in conducting assessments or planning needed to develop a full project proposal.

  • Eligible activities may include:
    • Research and learning
    • Feasibility/technical evaluation and consultation
    • Community outreach and education
    • Collaboration and partnership building

Implementation Grants: These grants can be used for projects that advance economic, social, and climate justice. Projects can include physical improvements (e.g., weatherization, solar installations, tree planting, or regenerative agriculture) and/or non-physical activities (e.g., workforce training). Ways that grant funds can be used include:

  • Pay for staff time
  • Contracted work
  • Purchasing equipment
  • Purchasing materials and supplies
  • Costs associated with fulfilling program requirements (e.g., additional insurance or reporting)
  • Other items needed to complete the project
  • Some planning can be a part of an implementation grant application, but implementation must be the primary focus of the application. Implementation grants should be completed within five years. 

    Funding Categories:

    • Energy efficiency and renewable energy:  Includes renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for residential, nonprofit occupied commercial buildings (can be privately owned), and community solar that benefits low-income Portland residents. All energy efficiency and renewable energy projects must reduce GHG emissions.
    • Green infrastructure: Includes planting, establishment, and maintenance of trees; restoration, depaving, planting, and establishing native plants and shrubs; and green roofs. All green infrastructure projects must reduce GHGs.
    • Regenerative agriculture: Includes projects that improve access to local food, fibers, and materials using practices that sequester carbon in the soil and support a healthier urban environment.
    • Workforce and contractor development (WCD): There are three general areas of work within the workforce and contractor development funding area. For more information, see the Full Grant Text RFP.
    • Transportation decarbonization: Includes projects that support transportation electrification, and those that support mode shifting to active transportation. All  transportation decarbonization projects must reduce GHGs.
    • Other: Includes projects that do not fall into one of the above categories but supports program goals of reducing GHG emissions and advancing racial and social justice.

    PCEF Priority Populations - It is important that organizations applying for PCEF grants understand how the two categories of priority populations are defined:

    1. For clean energy, green infrastructure, and regenerative agriculture projects priority populations are defined as: Black people, Native American/Alaska Native people, Other people of color, People with low income.
    2. For workforce and contractor development projects priority populations are defined as: Black people, Native American/Alaska Native people, Other people of color, People with low income, People who experience disabilities, Women, Transgender people, Two-spirit people, Gender non-conforming people, and other groups of people who experience gender or sex-based discrimination. 


    Additional Eligibility Criteria
    Qualified nonprofit organizations who meet all of the following requirements are eligible to apply for PCEF grant funds:
    - Designated by the Federal government as a 501(c) or 521(a) nonprofit entity.
    - Registered and certified with the Oregon Secretary of State as a nonprofit organization.
    - Not on the Oregon Department of Justice list of Disqualified Charities.

    Qualified nonprofit organizations do not need to be located within the city of Portland but all projects with physical improvements must be located within the city of Portland and workforce and contractor development projects must be located within the Portland Metropolitan Area.

    If you are a new organization and do not meet the 501(c) or 521(a) designation requirement, or are seeking additional administrative capacity, you may apply for a PCEF grant with a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is an eligible nonprofit organization that provides support for managing a grant.

    Planning grants cannot be used for costs associated with project implementation activities, like training community members on how to reduce their energy usage.

    Pre-Proposal Conference
    In-person event:
    When: Dec. 13, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
    Where: Easton Broad, 237 NE Broadway St., Portland, OR
    What: Info session with an opportunity to chat about RFP 3 and get answers to your questions.
    How: Please RSVP

    Free, virtual Q&A session to answer your questions about the RFP 3 application process.
    What: General support Q&A session
    Where: Virtual, via Zoom
    When: Jan. 12, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. (
    and Jan. 26, 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (

    Technical assistance webinars:
    Sessions will be recorded and links to the videos posted once complete. These are informational only, and there will not be individual questions.

    Technical assistance Q&A sessions:
    Technical assistance providers and PCEF staff are hosting a series of Q&A opportunities to answer applicant questions. You can register for one of these sessions by clicking the link below.

    Office hours:
    PCEF staff are available nearly every Wednesday during the open application period to answer applicant questions.

    To view the schedule and register for any of the above assistance options, see:

    Pre-Application Information
    Important dates:
    - Applications open November 29, 2023
    - The deadline to register for an account is February 8, 2024
    - The deadline to apply for a grant is February 15, 2024

    Organizations can apply for multiple grants in the funding cycle and within any, or multiple, funding category(ies).

    Receiving a planning grant does not guarantee future project funding.

    Application information:


    Informational video:

    How to apply video:

    Additional Funding Information

    Estimated Total Program Funding:


    Number of Grants
    About 30 grants: 5 to 10 planning grants 10 to 20 small implementation grants 10 to 20 large implementation grants

    Estimated Size of Grant
    Planning grants (all areas of work)
    Total expected funding is $400,000 to $700,000.
    - Up to $100,000 for project planning and development of known physical improvement that will reduce GHGs and advance climate justice.
    - Up to $50,000 for planning, community engagement, and education to identify opportunities for specific communities to benefit from/participate in climate action.

    Energy efficiency and renewable energy:
    Total expected funding is $20 to $30 million.
    - Large grant cap: $10 million
    - Small grant cap: $2 million

    Green infrastructure:
    Total expected funding is $1 to $3 million.
    - Large grant cap: $1 million
    - Small grant cap: $200,000

    Regenerative agriculture:
    Total expected funding is $5 to $9 million.
    - Large grant cap: $1 million
    - Small grant cap: $200,000

    Workforce and contractor development (WCD):
    Total expected funding is $5 to $7 million.
    - Workforce training or contractor development
    Large grant cap: $2 million
    Small grant cap: $500,000
    - Youth education and exposure
    Grant cap: $400,000

    Transportation decarbonization:
    Total expected funding is $10 to $20 million.
    - Large grant cap: $4 million
    - Small grant cap: $500,000

    Term of Contract
    - Planning grants should be completed within two years.
    - Implementation grants should be completed within five years.

    Contact Information
    Application portal:

    Direct questions to:

    Dity of Portland, Oregon
    1810 SW 5th Ave., Suite 710
    Portland, OR 97201

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