The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) approved the redesign of the Community Energy Plan Grant program after incorporating a greater emphasis on equity, overburdened municipalities and reducing barriers to program use. The redesigned grant program also simplifies the grant application process. The application is now open and will close on Feb. 28, 2022.
“The reconfigured Community Energy Plan Grant Program empowers local communities to create a Community Energy Plan that aligns with the state’s Energy Master Plan, taking action on climate change, with specific focus on equitable access, energy resilience, renewable energy, and efficiency,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “By redesigning the grant program we will increase access to communities who historically have not participated in state clean energy initiatives and move closer to reaching Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050.”
There are two grant award levels. First, all municipalities throughout New Jersey are eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant. Second, municipalities identified as overburdened are eligible to apply for a $25,000 grant. Further, overburdened municipalities are also eligible for enhanced support, including technical assistance to develop and submit applications as well as assistance in the creation of the Plan, once awarded. Overburdened communities are defined by a specific percentage of low income, minority or limited English proficiency.
More information on the Clean Energy Planning Grant Program and the application can be found at www.njcleanenergy.com/CEP.
The initial Clean Energy Plan Grant program was launched on March 29, 2019 and applicants had to be a government entity or a New Jersey institution of higher education working on behalf of at least one government entity. Now under the Office of Clean Energy Equity, the redesigned Community Energy Plan Grant Program is targeting outreach and technical assistance to municipalities that will benefit from the new application and energy planning support.
Governor Murphy’s landmark Energy Master Plan (EMP): Pathway to 2050 outlines seven key strategies and includes an implementation plan to shift away from energy production that contributes to climate change. The EMP identifies energy efficiency measures as one of the most affordable ways of reducing energy demand and lowering emissions, while simultaneously making homes and businesses more comfortable. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities serves as the lead EMP agency and is committed to ensuring the New Jersey municipalities most in need are receiving adequate assistance.
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