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.
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.

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.

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 trade ally contractors could be helpful to grant applicants.

We can provide:

  • Information on energy efficiency and solar technologies, benefits and investments by Energy Trust to date
  • Information on our incentive amounts and requirements (depending on the type of project, incentives are delivered to the resident or business customer or the installation contractor)
  • Potential examples of similar projects, case studies or Energy Trust partnership agreements
  • Referrals to peers or other organizations

Energy Trust hosted an information session for nonprofits in July to support this work. A video recording of that, along with more information on how we can help PCEF-funded projects and a sign-up form, is available on our website.