Project funding can support technical assistance services (i.e., labor costs only, such as for a consultant, design professional, installer, or student labor) for projects in each of the seven Minnesota CERT regions.
Catalyzing Grants for Communities
Every two years, the Clean Energy Resource Teams seeks applications for limited financial assistance for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects requiring technical assistance.
CERTs is accepting applications through Friday, October 11, 2019 for clean energy projects that:
Encourage community-based clean energy projects
Spur projects that are highly visible and replicable
Provide a forum for community education
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many potential ways of demonstrating that a technology is technically sound. These include but are not limited to: ready availability, well-demonstrated and documented effectiveness, testing by a qualified third party (such as Intertek or the National Renewable Energy Labs), recognized by a third party certification (such as Underwriter Laboratories). For example, eligible solar photovoltaic technologies will be SRCC (Solar Rating & Certification Corporation) certified. Eligible small wind technologies will have followed one of the SWCCpathways to certification as describer here: http://smallwindcertification.org/for-stakeholders/certification-pathways/. Should you have any questions about the viability of the technology you propose to use, please contact Lissa Pawlisch prior to starting a proposal at either firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-624-2293.
If applying to multiple regions you must request the Multiple-Region Application Addendum form either Lissa Pawlisch or Joel Haskard as described in the Official RFP. You will indicate and provide information about each region in the Addendum.
If your project involves several components, you should indicate all relevant components in Section 4 of the CERTs Seed Grant Application Form. You should indicate all relevant energy focus aspects, as well as all relevant activities and impacts. CERT Steering Committees will consider all components of the project, and funding can be applied to labor related to any and all of those components.
The intent of the CERTs seed grant is to fund community energy projects focused on energy efficiency and/or renewable energy. CERTs does not expect the Energy Focus categories to cover all projects, and no project should be considered ineligible solely because it does not fit into one of the listed categories. If your project does not fit into any of the listed categories with the Energy Focus boxes, select “Other” under Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, or Additional Technologies. In the Project Activity and Impacts table, please complete any corresponding impacts for your project. If you have any questions, please contact CERTs at email@example.com.
If you are implementing an energy efficiency or renewable energy project that will have measurable energy impacts, CERTs encourages you to estimate those energy impacts as part of your planning process. You may use the Project Impact Worksheets or Resources at http://mncerts.org/rfp or other calculators or resources available on the web. Some projects may also have a professional assessment of the project, and those numbers should be submitted. Attach any worksheets, calculators, assessment documents, or other documentation of measurement assumptions and outcomes with your application. You may also contact Alexis Troschinetz, CERTs Behavior Change and Metrics Coordinator, for additional assistance at 612-626-0455.
People involved include members on your team who are actively engaged in executing the project or others who are participating in a major way with your project. People reached include those who have learned about your project through information made publicly-available. Examples for how past seed grant recipients have reached people regarding their project include: attendees at presentations or community meetings, visitors to the public location where the project is on display, unique visitors to a web page with information about the project, number of students in the school where a project took place, number of community members who regularly attend a community center where a project took place, and readership of printed articles in newspapers, trade publications or academic journals.
This budget should include any match or other dollars leveraged (cash or in-kind) that are going toward the completion of your project. Please list pending and secured funding sources. If the project is still seeking additional funding sources, please note those funding amounts in the budget table as “pending”.
We will accept a variety of forms of documentation of “Secure” contributions. Examples of appropriate documentation could include a letter of awarded funding or a letter documenting donated materials, equipment and/or labor. This documentation should be submitted electronically with your application.
Application materials need to be received by Friday, October 11th, 2019 at 4:00 pm at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your Region and Project Name in the subject line. Application materials include the CERT Seed Grant Application Form, any documentation to support project impacts, and any letters of support for secured match funding for the project. If you are applying for funding from multiple regions, you must also include the Multiple-Regions Application Addendum. You will receive confirmation within 1-2 business days of the receipt of your application.
CERTs Seed Grants are paid on a reimbursement basis. Project may invoice for up to half of their seed grant funds by June 19th, 2020, after the work is completed. You must submit an Interim Report to receive payment. Final invoices may be submitted once project work is complete but no later than January 29, 2021 @ 4:00pm. Final invoices will not be paid until Final Reports are reviewed and approved for completeness. If your project is completed before June 19th, you may submit the Final Report with the Final Invoice.
For applicants for whom having a delay in payment would be burdensome, or would even discourage applying, please contact Lissa Pawlisch (at either email@example.com or 612-624-2293). We may provide advance payments for up to one third of the awarded seed grant amount for a limited number of projects. (No advance payments will be given for the Southwest CERT region.)
CERTs Seed Grants cover labor costs only. Proposals to request CERTs funding to cover materials, fees, printing, or travel will need to be revised by the applicant to only include labor costs, thereby delaying the review process.
If you are having difficulty completing your project, we ask that you contact CERT Staff immediately. You can always contact us via the firstname.lastname@example.org email. Maggie Kozak is the primary point of contact for any contracting questions and would be glad to discuss an issue with you over the phone. Her phone number is 612-626-0555. Please know that while we want to work with all funded projects to help ensure their completion, if you are truly unable to complete your project, our intent is to put the money toward a project that can be completed. We absolutely require that projects begin work before the interim reporting date of June 19, 2020. If a project has not begun work the funding will be revoked and reallocated to another project. This is not to penalize projects that cannot move forward, but rather to ensure that we’re able to catalyze local projects with these dollars.
Maybe. Please notify email@example.com of the change as soon as possible. It will depend on the changes and circumstances. In the Southwest region, the change in scope needs Steering Committee approval.
CERTs awards Seed Grants to community groups for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across Minnesota. We’ve awarded over $1.2M to 355 projects since 2006.
The map below includes all projects funded by CERTs. Choose on a map marker to learn more about individual projects, drag to move, and use the + and – buttons to zoom.