It’s no secret that using solar panels can provide you with countless benefits. But the process of acquiring them and their installation can be a costly venture.
As a nonprofit organization, the more assistance you can get, the better. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to you that can make obtaining solar panels much more manageable.
The United States government is invested in solar energy for a variety of reasons. It helps the country get away from being so dependent on fossil fuels, and it plays a role in creating more jobs.
The environment greatly benefits, as well, as there are fewer CO2 emissions. To ensure that more nonprofits can take advantage of solar energy, grants are available that can help make their use a reality.
Thanks to the increasing lifespan of solar panels, your nonprofit can look forward to its benefits for 20 years or longer. The cost-saving attributes alone can help your nonprofit in many ways.
You can focus your resources on areas that need them the most. And your nonprofit will have a greater chance of succeeding and remaining in operation thanks to there being less of a need to raise energy funding.
Where to Look for Grants
As a nonprofit, the first place you should look for federal grants is on the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website. This is a great place to familiarize yourself with how grants work.
You can also look into the requirements for receiving a grant and get reminders anytime a new grant becomes available.
Let’s look into what grants are currently offered that you might be interested in taking advantage of.
Green Retrofit Grants
This federal grant is available through HUD, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. With a budget of $250 million, this program provides solar panel retrofitting opportunities to areas that are low-income.
If approved, any funding must be used within a two-year period from the time that you receive them. So be sure that you have an action plan in place to equip your organization with solar panels in a timely manner before applying.
High Energy Cost Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture made this grant available to help rural communities that struggle with high energy-related costs.
You can use the available funding to buy and install solar panels for your nonprofit organization. Not only that, but they can also be used in the event that repairs or replacements are needed for your new solar energy system.
If your nonprofit is located within an area that regularly sees expensive energy bills, this grant may be the perfect solution to your needs.
This is another grant that is available through the United States Department of Agriculture.
As long as your nonprofit produces agriculture, you may receive as much as $20,000 from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to help with the acquisition and installation of solar panels for your organization.
There are some contingencies in place for you to be eligible for this program. You must be able to show that a minimum of half of your income is based on agribusiness.
You must also be able to foot the bill for at least 75% of the solar panel expenses. If your nonprofit has the resources, this may be a great fit for you.
Renewable Energy Grants
Available through the United States Department of Treasury, this grant works by reimbursing you on some of the costs associated with investing in solar panels. Instead of receiving tax credits, you will get assistance in covering your solar panel costs.
With this program, you will need to have the funding to pay for the acquisition and installation of the panels in their entirety. But once the solar system is installed, you can get help with part of its cost.
Tribal Energy Program
The funding for this program is handled by the Department of Energy’s IEPP (Indian Energy Policy and Programs).
With more than $15 million in investments, tribes that have nonprofits can get the help they need with buying and installing solar panels for their organization.
If you have a Tribal building or you operate on Tribal land, you may want to give this program a look. It’s a great way to help expand your infrastructure by incorporating solar panel energy systems.
As a nonprofit, you should be looking for any assistance that might be available to you. This will ensure that your organization has a better chance of maintaining operations within your community and beyond.
Check with the United States Department of Energy to see if your nonprofit organization qualifies for the federal grants listed above.
You will be able to look through their comprehensive database for more information on how their grants can assist you.