The Sustainable Energy Funds were created to promote the development of sustainable and renewable energy programs and clean-air technologies on both a regional and statewide basis.
The Met-Ed/Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund will offer program related investments ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. Program-related investments are low-interest loans, which provide capital that must be paid back. Loans will be offered at 4-6 percent interest with a maximum 10-year payback period. The final interest rate and loan term will be determined by the fund’s advisory committee in partnership with professional loan advisors at JARI, a nonprofit economic development organization based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. All interest paid back on loans will be used to keep the fund active and to provide funding for future projects.
The fund’s advisory committee meets quarterly to review loan applications. To have your application considered at the March committee meeting, submit applications by February 4, 2024. To have your application considered at the June committee meeting, submit applications by May 7, 2024.
The Fund is currently accepting inquiries from for-profit or non-profit organizations to support projects that meet the mission of the Fund. Examples include:
1. The development and use of renewable energy and clean energy technologies
a. Pilot projects to deploy wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, or other renewable or clean energy technologies in a location where they have not been deployed before or are being used in a new way, primarily for educational or research purposes.
b. Research projects aimed at better understanding or developing renewable energy and clean energy technologies.
2. Energy conservation and efficiency
a. High impact building retrofits where inefficient systems are replaced with clean energy technology and/or high energy-saving equipment that is above average/baseline. (Note that projects that have the potential to be a strong fit for this will either have a copy of a recent energy audit performed by a certified, unbiased third party or will have worked with a technical assistance representative.) The goal of the funding is to support projects that showcase the cost savings and energy savings inherent in applying green, sustainable, and/or natural building techniques in communities where the buildings can serve as examples to others.
b. Educational programs aimed at teaching Pennsylvanians young and old how to conserve and save energy.
1. Project Identification
a. Projects that have a strong potential to be a fit for a PRI, after initial review by Fund Staff and/or technical assistance representatives from Willdan and/or Franklin Energy, will be invited to apply online.
b. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis while funds are available.
2. Project Review
a. Staff will review submitted applications, perform due diligence, and request site visits if needed.
b. Proposals will be presented to the SEF Advisory Committee at quarterly meetings.
3. Funding Availability and Processing
a. If declined, staff will notify the applicant.
b. If approved, staff will introduce the applicant to a representative from JARI, our Community Development Financial Institution partner, who will move forward with loan underwriting and servicing. Staff will continue to be engaged and discuss any special considerations, interest rates, and loan terms.