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Grants to New Jersey Public School Districts and
Municipalities for Energy-Related Projects and Programs

Sustainable Jersey Grants Program for Energy Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Sustainable Jersey - Gardinier Environmental Fund

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

11/05/21 11:59 PM


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Grants to New Jersey public school districts and municipal governments for energy related projects. Funding is intended to support innovative programs and projects in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and building electrification, and energy resiliency and reliability. Funded projects should promote the use of renewable energy sources, increase energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state.

The Gardinier Environmental Fund is contributing funding to support a Sustainable Jersey Grants Program cycle for municipal governments and public school districts that is focused on supporting energy projects and programs.

The Sustainable Jersey Grants Program is an important benefit for New Jersey municipalities and school districts participating in the Sustainable Jersey certification programs. Funding supports efforts to implement projects that help towns and schools gain points needed for Sustainable Jersey certification and make progress toward a sustainable future.

Grant proposals must focus on either: Existing building energy efficiency (excluding lighting-only upgrades); electrification; new construction and significant renovation projects; renewable energy; energy reliability/resilience; transportation efficiency and electrification (EV charging stations are not eligible and EV purchases have limited eligibility); studies, plans and engineering or other energyrelated projects. The Gardinier Environmental Fund is particularly interested in projects that take an innovative approach to meeting sustainable energy objectives, such as building electrification, advanced building management systems, fleet management software/telematics, or distributed energy resources that combine renewable energy generation with energy storage onsite. Grant funding can also be used to support projects that aid municipal efforts to achieve a Sustainable Jersey Gold Star for Energy and are innovative models for the state.

For project categories, see

Eligible grant expenses include staff stipends, consultant or contractor service fees (e.g., for content expertise, marketing, and/or technology), equipment, training and educational materials or related expenses, project supplies, and promotional items.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162680

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

This cycle will award grants in the amount of:
- $10,000
- $20,000
- $30,000
- $40,000
- $50,000

The number of grants in each category will be based on the relative strength of application proposals received. The funding source reserves the right to not give grants in any specific category. Please note that funding for grant proposals at the higher levels is more competitive.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to apply for a grant in this cycle, the following requirements must be met:
- The applicant must be either a New Jersey public school district or municipal government
- The applicant must be registered with its respective Sustainable Jersey Program. School district applicants can check if the district is registered using the Participating Districts and Schools map at Municipal applicants can check if the municipality is registered using the Participating Communities map at
- The applicant must have appointed a green team that meets the action requirements.

For more on eligibility, see

If you received a Sustainable Jersey grant in 2021 or earlier, refer to the chart at to determine if
you are eligible to apply.

Promotional items should not comprise more than $1,000 of the proposed grant budget. Promotional items include “give-aways” such as refillable water bottles, t-shirts, bags, etc., and incentives or awards such as prizes, gift cards, refreshments, etc.

Projects to upgrade lighting fixtures of any kind are NOT eligible for funding. This includes street lighting, stadium lighting, parking lot lighting, and other exterior and interior lighting. Direct Install projects for the replacement of HVAC equipment, boilers, etc. that also include lighting upgrades may be considered as long as they take advantage of applicable incentives.

EV charging station(s) installation projects are NOT eligible for funding.

The purchase of electric vehicles (except for Class 4-8 medium and heavy-duty vehicles) is NOT eligible for funding.

Facilities and administrative (overhead) costs may NOT be charged to the grant.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An informational webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 from 1:00pm-2:30pm.

The webinar will provide an overview of the available funding, discuss eligible project ideas, explain the available energy incentive programs, demonstrate how to use the new application portal, go over the application components, and will conclude with a Q&A session.

To register:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be submitted using the online application portal by midnight 11:59 PM on Friday, November 5, 2021.

Grant Recipients will be announced in mid-January 2022.

The first three sections of the application must be completed by November 5, 2021. The fourth section, Grant Authorization Resolution, does not need to be completed until December 3, 2021. (For more information, see Application Information below.) Despite the extended deadline, it is recommended that you get the grant resolution adoption process started as soon as possible in order to ensure that the resolution is passed in time for your application to be considered.

Joint municipal government and school district projects are encouraged. For joint projects, each entity may either submit separate grant applications that address each entity’s role in the project or collaborate on a single grant application.

Applicants may only submit ONE grant application. The application can be for any of the grant amounts listed in Estimated Size of Funding above.

Applicants are able to have two grants open at one time - one "large" grant of $5,000 or more and one "small" grant of $2,000. If an applicant currently has an open large grant, then it is unable to receive an energy grant until the previously-awarded large grant is closed.

NOTE: If any of the schools in your district have an open or outstanding grant, it does NOT affect the eligibility of your school district to submit a grant application.

For further information about outstanding grants and resultant applicant eligibility, see

Proposed grant projects that would be eligible for funding or rebates available from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program (NJCEP), utility company incentive programs, or other state government grant, rebate, or incentive programs, must leverage these resources in addition to the Sustainable Jersey grant as part of the overall project budget.

Matching or in-kind contributions are encouraged, but not necessary with the exception of statesponsored or utility-sponsored incentive/grant programs. If your project is eligible for NJCEP, NJDEP, or utility-sponsored energy conservation or energy efficiency funding, you MUST participate in these programs and include the anticipated funding in the project budget. Exact funding amounts do not have to be confirmed at this time; an estimate is fine.

Online Application Portal Instructions:

Application Information:

Proposal Evaluation:

Application Tips:

Eligible Projects and Expenses:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:

Questions regarding the Grants Program should be directed to: or 609-771-3189.

If you have questions about the grant authorization document or want your draft document checked by Sustainable Jersey staff, please contact Kaitlyn Vollmer at the above email or phone.

General questions regarding the Sustainable Jersey Municipal Program should be directed to: or 609-771-2938.

General questions regarding the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program should be directed to: or 609-771-3427.

General questions regarding the Sustainable Jersey Energy Program should be directed to: or by phone at 609-771-2902. Questions regarding how to access existing incentive programs and the documentation required for the grant application can also be directed to Nancy Quirk at the indicated email or phone number.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey

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