New grant program opens to fund clean energy projects for communities of color and low-income Portlanders

Starting this month, eligible nonprofits can apply for funding from the new Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) to do clean energy projects throughout the city.

The fund was created by a ballot measure passed by Portland voters in 2018. Funding is for projects that prioritize underserved people and neighborhoods, including communities of color and low-income residents who are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

Money will go to support projects in four areas: clean energy projects, including energy efficiency and solar; workforce development, contractor training and support; green infrastructure and regenerative agriculture; and innovation.

Nonprofits can directly apply or partner with other groups, including for-profit businesses. Projects can be proposed for commercial properties, multifamily and single-family housing and new construction.

Over the summer, the fund awarded $200,000 in grants to 42 organizations to support them as they prepare applications. On Sept. 14, the application window opens for up to $9 million in grant funding.

Find details about PCEF and the grant opportunity on the City of Portland’s website, including application materials when they are posted in mid-September:

Please share this information if you are working with a customer or partner who may benefit from hearing about this new program.

In addition, while Energy Trust is not an official partner or contractor for the PCEF program, our work to deliver clean energy benefits to Portlanders overlaps with PCEF, and our incentives for utility customers, information, support and this Trade Ally Network could be helpful to grant applicants.

Our website has more information on how we can help and includes an information sign-up form: