What is PCEF?
A vision for a future with clean and renewable energy and other sustainable investments united the communities of Portland with a collective aim of improving livelihood in terms of shelter, employment, and income. This led to the creation of a fund for cleaner energy resources for underserved communities. It is known as the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF).
The PCEF initiative controls inequalities by allocating resources to Portlanders who are highly impacted by climate change and include people of color and low-income residents. The coalitions by communities that led to the creation of the ballot measure are working along with the city of Portland for the implementation of an exclusive program that reflects the agreement of Portland voters.
When Do PCEF Applications Start?
The Portland Clean Energy Fund is accepting applications starting on August 10th. The application acceptance period ends October 9th and then submitted applications go into a review period until December 14th. Funds will then be approved on January 10th of 2021. For this round of the PCEF grant, there will be 8 million dollars available for approval, all subsequent years will have 40-60 million dollars available for funding.
Created by Measure 26-201 (a local ballot measure), the PCEF predicts to bring in a revenue of $54 to $71 million for green jobs and healthy homes for Portlanders. The initiative implementation aims to support economic and social reforms for the residents of the city of Portland and the formation of a skilled and diverse workforce and developments in the field of clean energy. The PCEF is vested in the belief of a community-led vision with justice and equality in order to create flexibility and ample opportunities.
Portland Clean Energy Fund Priorities
The Portland Clean Energy Fund allocates a specific portion to three major areas: clean energy funding, job training programs, and green infrastructure projects to prepare groups that are highly prone to the effects of climate change. The goal entails reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent and shifting to 100 percent renewable energy. A 1 percent surcharge on the sales of large retailers is the primary source of funding.
The Fund Uses Several Programs To Fulfill The Following Policies:
- Clean Energy Projects: including renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, and green infrastructure for the benefit of low and middle-income individuals and non-profits.
- Clean Energy Jobs Training: contractor support initiatives prioritizing the development of economically disadvantaged communities of color, women, the underemployed, and differently-abled persons.
- Clean Energy Programs: both reduce greenhouse gases and promote economic, social, and environmental benefits.
Reducing The Cost Of Living Using Solar Power
The Fund was set up in order to reduce living costs for low and middle-income families by offering extra financial incentives and access to unique financing opportunities. A percentage of the funding is also used to help create jobs and job training programs in the clean energy industry for women and people of color who currently have a low representation in the clean energy economy in Portland.
The PCEF encourages clean energy solutions that support community-based development and helps Portlanders that are in extreme distress, thus making this Fund a unique initiative. Additionally, it provides aid to those families that do not earn enough to qualify for energy rebates and tax credits.
How Can I Take Advantage Today?
Right now, we are in the last year of rule-making and implementation for PCEF. If you are a community organization, a housing development organization, or a non-profit now is a great time to start to understand what opportunities exist to install solar panels or take energy efficiency measures on your property.
Energy Trust of Oregon has a great program called the Solar Design Assistance (SDA) grant that allows non-profits to request a detailed solar analysis for a site. The grant covers 90% of the cost of a solar feasibility study. Typical out-of-pocket costs for a non-profit for a feasibility study will range from $200-$1,000. This is a great first step.
With a feasibility study in hand that outlines your opportunities in extensive detail, you will be poised to take advantage of the PCEF funding when it becomes available.
Sign up here for a 15-minute phone consultation to determine if your organization is eligible for this feasibility study grant and take the first step towards affordable clean energy.