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


Starting this month, 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 benefit underserved people and neighborhoods, including communities of color and low-income residents who are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

Applications are accepted for projects in four areas: clean energy, 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.

Over the summer, the fund awarded $200,000 in grants to 42 organizations to support them as they prepare their applications. On September 16, the application window opened for $8.6 million in grant funding.

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 Network 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

More information on how Energy Trust can help nonprofits considering PCEF is available on our website.

Find details about PCEF, the grant opportunity and informational webinars at www.portland.gov/bps/cleanenergy.