Grant Opportunities

The Community Resilience Partnership has three grant opportunities currently open for applications:

  1. Community Action Grants: Municipal and tribal governments and unorganized territories in Maine who have joined the Partnership may apply directly for funds to support projects that reduce energy use and costs and/or make their community more resilient to climate change effects, such as flooding, extreme weather, drought, and public health impacts. 
  2. Service Provider Grants: Regional service provider organizations may apply for funds to recruit groups of two to five communities to complete the enrollment activities, join the Partnership, and apply for Community Action Grants.
  3. Energy Efficiency Priorities Grants: Municipal governments in Maine who have joined the Partnership may apply directly for federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds to disadvantaged communities for projects that improve energy efficiency and implement clean energy systems.

     


    Community Action Grants 

    Community Action Grants can support two categories of climate action by communities: 1) actions from the List of Community Actions, an approved list of climate mitigation and adaptation activities that align with the strategies of Maine Won’t Wait, and 2) other projects proposed by a community that support capacity building, planning, and implementation projects.  
     
    The List of Community Actions offers guidance for communities starting on climate plans and incentivize a baseline level of climate action across the state. The two grant options provide flexibility by allowing communities to choose actions from the List that are most relevant and feasible, while also providing support for community climate and energy priorities that may not appear on the List of Community Actions. 

    About Community Action Grants

    Once a community is enrolled in the Community Resilience Partnership, they are encouraged to work from their list of locally prioritized actions and the List of Community Actions to pursue Community Action Grants. Many, but not all, of the activities on the list could require funding support. 

    Community Action Grants have a $5,000 minimum and $50,000 maximum request amount. Collaborative proposals by two or more communities are encouraged, in which case the group may request up to $125,000. 
     
    There are two specific types of Community Action Grants:  

    • Grants to support implementation of one or more activities in the List of Community Actions that align with the state climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait. There is no local matching funds requirement for these grants. 
    • Grants to support other community-defined climate and energy implementation priorities. A local match is required.
    Grant Application Deadlines

    Once enrolled in the Partnership, communities are eligible to apply for Community Action Grants. Enrollment and grant applications will be accepted simultaneously. 

    The deadline for the next application round is March 29, 2024, no later than 5:00 p.m. local time.

    Grant Reporting

    All funded projects will be required to provide quarterly updates, project deliverables, and a brief final case study that communicates lessons learned during the project.  

    The applicant(s) should develop and track metrics, both for success of the project and progress toward long-term community goals. The Maine Won’t Wait Climate Action Plan has a list of metrics the state will track, should the community need examples.

    Equity Outcomes

    Maine’s climate response must ensure shared benefits across diverse populations of Maine people. Applicants should include robust community engagement in their action grant proposals, for example inclusive planning processes so that diverse community voices are able to participate.

    Climate change impacts will create the greatest hardships for already marginalized communities. Communities in Maine must identify and promote solutions to help the people most vulnerable to climate impacts. Applicants should consider the potential benefits of their proposed climate action projects and, if applicable describe how the project distributes those benefits equitably.

    Community Tiers

    To ensure equitable access and outcomes by lower capacity communities, the Partnership has adopted a three-tier system classification system that tailors program requirements and incentives to community size.

    Cost Sharing

    There is no local cost share for Climate Action Grants that implement activities from the List of Community Actions.

    A local cost share does apply for Climate Action Grants that implement other community priorities outside the list: 

    • Tier 1 and Tier 2 communities 
      • 10% local match.
    • Tier 3 communities  
      • 20% local match. 

    Service Provider Grants 

    Service Provider Grants support service provider organizations who recruit groups of two to five communities to join the Partnership, conduct robust community engagement that sets priorities for implementing actions on the List of Community Actions, and apply for Community Action Grants and other funding opportunities to implement community energy and climate priorities. 

    About Service Provider Grants

    This program’s focus on regional collaboration, local capacity-building, and community engagement that are critical for supporting municipal climate action. 
     
    The desired outcomes from the Service Provider Grants are new enrollments in the Partnership by multiple communities, developing a list of each community's priority projects, as well as any cooperative group priorities, and applications to the Community Action Grant program. 

    Service Providers are expected to assist communities with the enrollment activities and apply for Community Action Grants.

    Grant Application Deadlines

    The deadline for the next application round is February 2, 2024, no later than 5:00 p.m. local time.

    Grant Eligibility

    Entities eligible to be regional service providers include

    • regional planning organizations
    • councils of governments
    • regional economic development organizations
    • county governments
    • academic institutions and cooperative extension programs
    • non-profit organizations
    • for-profit enterprises

    Municipalities are generally not eligible for Service Provider Grants. However, in special cases, a community that can demonstrate robust in-house capacity may apply for a Service Provider Grant to provide relevant services to smaller communities in the same region. 

    To achieve an equitable geographic distribution of capacity building investments, the Partnership intends to select proposals from each of four regions within the state during each grant cycle: 

    • Region 1: York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, and southern Oxford Counties
    • Region 2: Waldo, Hancock, and Washington Counties
    • Region 3: Androscoggin, Oxford, Kennebec, Franklin, and Somerset Counties
    • Region 4: Piscataquis, Aroostook, and Penobscot Counties.
    Grant Applications

    Service providers may not submit more than one application per round. However, service providers may apply for both rounds of grants in the same year, if desired, so long as the groups of communities are distinctly different in each round. 

    As part of the application to the program, prospective service providers will recruit a group of two to five communities. Prospective service providers may request up to $10,000 per community. Up to an additional $2,500 may be requested for communities in the group that are either in the highest social vulnerability category or have a population fewer than 4,000.

    Applicants will include a letter of support from each community in the proposed group. Letters must be submitted with the application package. Letters received separately will not be read.

    Once funds are awarded, communities within the service provider’s group will have up to 12 months to submit for enrollment in the Partnership, though many will find it feasible to enroll in time for the next Community Action Grant round in 6 months.

    Cost Sharing

    For all Service Provider Grants, a 15% cost share is required of the service provider. In-kind match is permitted.

    Grant Reporting

    All funded Service Providers will be required to provide quarterly updates, project deliverables, and a brief final case study that communicates lessons learned during the project. 


    Energy Efficiency Priorities Grants 

    The Energy Efficiency Priorities Grant (EEPG) is a special, one-time grant round of the Community Resilience Partnership. The purpose of the Energy Efficiency Priorities Grant is to distribute federal funds to disadvantaged communities in Maine for projects that improve energy efficiency and implement clean energy systems. This special grant round differs from the Community Resilience Partnership’s standard Community Action Grant in important ways described in the Request for Applications. 

    About Energy Efficiency Priorities Grants

    GOPIF anticipates making awards of approximately $100,000 each to ten (10) eligible communities through a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) process.

    Funding for this grant is provided by a formula allocation to the State of Maine via the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. GOPIF will award approximately $1,000,000 of the state allocation to disadvantaged communities. 

    Minimum and Maximum Award: Individual communities, as defined above, are eligible for a minimum award of $80,000 and a maximum award of $100,000. Groups of communities applying jointly are eligible for awards of up to $100,000 per community.

    Grant Application Deadline

    February 16, 2024, no later than 11:59 p.m., local time.

    Grant Eligibility

    To be eligible for the Energy Efficiency Priorities Grant, a community must be BOTH: 

    Appendix A in the RFA provides a list of municipalities and unorganized territories in Maine deemed to meet the Disadvantaged requirement for the purposes of this grant.

    Eligible communities may apply either individually or as part of a Group of eligible communities. School districts, water and sewer districts, neighborhood associations, and similar entities are not eligible to be primary applicants but are encouraged to partner with an eligible entity. 

    Communities may apply to both this Energy Efficiency Priorities Grant and the Spring 2024 Community Action Grant (see program statement CAG2024-4). However, to make awards available to as many communities as possible, applicants will not be awarded both grants. Applicants that are successful in this Energy Efficiency Priorities Grant will not have their Community Action Grant application scored.

    See full eligibility criteria in Section C. of the RFA.

    Eligible Activities

    Grant awards will support energy efficiency, electrification, and clean energy improvements to publicly owned property. 

    Applicants are encouraged to combine multiple technologies in a proposal. For example, installing heat pumps, solar panels, and battery storage on site to make a building more resilient for emergency operations or community sheltering purposes.

    See full list of eligible activities in Section G. subsection 1 of the RFA.

    Equity Outcomes

    The Energy Efficiency Priorities Grants are targeted to communities designated as Disadvantaged by the U.S. EPA. 
    Public engagement and equitable distribution of benefits are included as scorable application components. 

    • Applicants should identify priority audiences in the grant proposal and are strongly encouraged to identify vulnerable or disadvantaged community members and groups and how they will be engaged.
    • Applicants must describe how community members will experience the outcomes and benefits of this project, especially how the outcomes might benefit vulnerable or disadvantaged community members.
    Cost Sharing

    There is no local cost share (match) requirement to access the Energy Efficiency Priority Grants. Energy Efficiency Priority Grant funds may not be used as match for other federal funds.

    Federal Policy Compliance

    Recipients of Energy Efficiency Priority Grant funds, and all vendors and contractors, are subject to provisions and requirements of the following federal laws:

    • Build America, Buy America  
    • Davis-Bacon Act
    • National Environmental Policy Act
    • Floodplains and wetlands
    • National Historic Preservation Act

    Applicants that will procure services from a vendor or contractor are encouraged to confirm that the firm has experience complying with these federal laws. Grant awardees will be required to report regularly regarding compliance with these laws.  View complete details in Section G. Subsection 3 of the RFA.