Partners for Climate Action (PCA), a Hudson Valley nonprofit and partner of Sustainable Putnam, has announced a new grant program titled Building Decarbonization Grants (BDG), which will assist municipalities and local nonprofits in the Hudson Valley that are reducing the carbon footprint of their buildings.
This is a fantastic opportunity for our libraries, churches, temples, cultural centers, villages, and towns to obtain much needed financing to decarbonize their buildings, while improving the health and comfort of their spaces. So many of our nonprofits operate on shoestring budgets, yet desperately need to improve their buildings with improved insulation, a modern HVAC system, or even installing solar to lower their long term costs.
The Hudson Valley has some of the oldest building stock in the country, and the heating and cooling of buildings is the number one contributor of greenhouse gasses in NY State. Therefore, transitioning to renewable energy sources is crucial. Examples of this include municipalities and local nonprofits converting to heat pumps or geothermal, installing solar, upgrading to more green appliances, adding insulation, and switching out old windows. While there are state and federal programs to help with the costs of these upgrades, the pathway to securing these grants can be complicated…many of those come with hefty matches. Some of these grants from larger funders require engineering/design work, which costs money upfront. The new grant from Partners for Climate Action steps in to fill these gaps.
“We have been working closely with municipalities and non-profits through our other PCA programs, and we have been struck by how overwhelming the Federal and State grant processes are. Just the other day, a volunteer we work with in Columbia County said her village board won’t be pursuing any of these types of climate change projects because they require matching funds,” explained Vanessa Bertozzi, who co-directs the BDG program.
The applications open on September 5, 2023, and the deadline is November 21, 2023. Municipalities and local nonprofits from the counties of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam, Rensselaer, and Ulster are welcome to apply. Grants in the range of $5,000 – $100,000 will be distributed to selected applicants. Grantees will have a 1-year period to spend their grants.
“We feel the urgency of this moment and want to see climate action, so we’re offering this helping hand,” adds Paige Ruane, co-director of the BDG and one of the founders of PCA. “In addition to the money, we are also trying to make this process more human.” As part of the BDG program, Ruane says they will host guest speakers, lead field trips to inspiring projects, and offer office hours where accepted applicants can bring questions.
PCA has put together a grant selection committee and charged them with a goal of deploying 40% of the grant funds to disadvantaged communities.
Interested parties are encouraged to attend the optional info session or visit www.climateactionhv.org/decarb-grant for the application and more details.