Best planning and implementation toolbox

Federal and State Funding Sources for Green Programs

Purpose of Tool:
There is a wide variety of federal and state funding sources for green programs. These funds come primarily in the form of tax incentives and credits for citizens, but there are also grants and loans available. Various federal agencies, such as the Federal Transit Authority (FTA), offer grants for certain types of green programs, such as clean fuels programs and congestion mitigation and air quality improvements, which are implemented by local governments or non-profits. Both the United States Government and the State of Texas manage databases that list available grants for funding many different types of programs, including some green programs. Funding can be found for programs such as green building, green public schools, air quality improvements, energy efficiency, and alternative fuel programs, among others.

Many types of tax incentives are offered by the State and Federal governments to homeowners, developers, and businesses. Incentives are given for many different activities, including using renewable energy devices, green building, purchasing energy-efficient appliances or green building products, and many more. Many cities in Texas operate websites that list available incentives and other green initiatives available to their citizens, such as Dallas (www.greendallas.net) and Houston (www.greenhoustontx.gov).

Benefits of Using Tool:
This tool is beneficial to communities and regions for several reasons:
  • It helps communities work toward a sustainable future.
  • It enables communities to maintain compliance with government regulations to reduce energy consumption.
  • Positive impacts to the environment are made through these programs, making communities more desirable.

    Steps Involved to Use Tool:
    Every funding program is used differently. The specifics of each should be consulted first before submitting requests for funding.

    Special Requirements to Use Tool:
    Each grant or incentive program has its own specific requirements.

    Specials Resources Needed to Use Tool:
    Various resources are helpful in utilizing the federal and state funding for green programs. Particularly useful is adequate staff to write grant applications and other applications for funding requests.

    Communities / Agencies that Have Used Tool:
  • Clean Air Campaign, Atlanta, GA: This organization seeks to improve Atlanta’s air quality and congestion by rewarding individuals and businesses for using alternative modes of transportation. The program is funded by a combination of a federal transportation grant and sponsorships from businesses and foundations. This federal funding is secured with a 20% match raised by the organization. For more information contact:

    Sasha Talenfeld - Communications Support
    404-817-7762
    55 Park Place, Suite 250
    Atlanta, GA, 30303
    mail@cleanaircampaign.com

  • Berkeley County Schools, West Virginia: This school district constructed Spring Mills Elementary, West Virginia’s first green public school, with the majority of its funding from the State of West Virginia’s School Building Authority (SBA). They received $10 million from the SBA in order to build this pilot project in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. For more information, contact:

    Mark A. Manchin - SBA Executive Director
    304-558-2541
    2300 Kanawha Blvd.
    East Charleston WV, 25311
    mmanchin@wvsba.state.wv.us

    Metrics to Use to Monitor Tool Effectiveness:
    Because the “green” movement is fairly new, there are not currently any measures in place that specifically indicate how federal and state funding for green programs have helped communities and agencies reach their goals.

    List of Resources to Obtain Additional Info:
    For more information, please see:
  • Database of federal government grants, www.grants.gov
  • Database of State of Texas grants, http://www.texasonline.state.tx.us/tolapp/egrants/search.htm
  • U.S. Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org
  • “Capital Corner: Taking Action to Tap Green Stimulus Programs,” Local Governments for Sustainability – USA, http://www.icleiusa.org/news-events/capital-corner-taking-action-to-tap-green-stimulus-programs
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), http://www.dsireusa.org/library/includes/map2.cfm?CurrentPageID=1&State=TX&RE=1&EE=1
  • Federal Transit Administration Grant Programs, http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants_financing_263.html
  • “Live Green in Plano,” http://plano.gov/Departments/Environmental%20Services/GreenLiving/Pages/default.aspx
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Building Funding Opportunities, http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/tools/funding.htm