IRA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) Questions and Answers
April 19, 2024

Answers to questions asked during Local Infrastructure Hub webinars that covered the GGRF.

Do you know what programs cities will be able to apply for?
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The 8 selectees are all nonprofit financial institutions. The 3 selected under the National Clean Investment Fund will be providing capital straight into projects all across the country. This means that cities, states, tribal, municipalities, nonprofits, for profits and other entities that are building qualifying projects should approach those entities in regards to financing and understanding their terms and conditions. The 5 selected under the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator are hub nonprofits that will provide funding to community financial institutions (i.e. community development financial institutions, credit unions, state/local independent green banks, etc.) that will be regranting those funds out to community lenders across the country.

I'm not clear on the specific role of local governments in this program, given the focus on nonprofit lenders. Can you speak to this?
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Local governments can use the financing (e.g., apply for low-cost loans) that GGRF winners will make available to finance their qualifying projects, like providing community solar to low-income households and communities; decarbonizing municipal buildings; and expanding electric vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure or providing access to other forms of zero emissions transportation, including by enhancing walkability.

What is the expected timeline?
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Currently, EPA is actively negotiating the final terms and conditions for these grant awards with the goal of having resources go out July 2024. In the meantime, those interested in learning more about timelines and the types of eligible projects can visit the ‘Frequent Questions’ page on the EPA website.

Can the link Jahi referenced be shared or restated?
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The EPA.gov is your one-stop shop for all the latest information on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

Will each of the nonprofit entities for NCIF and CCIA set their own applications, deadlines, etc.?
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Yes, that is correct, they will each have their own programs, but all within the parameters of the GGRF requirements. You can find out more about what each winning applicant is planning by looking at their applications on https://www.epa.gov/greenhouse-gas-reduction-fund.

Are each of the awardees running competitive funding processes, or is it a simple application for creditworthiness that governments can submit to fund projects?
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Details about what each winning applicant is planning in terms of application, financing, etc. can be found in their applications at https://www.epa.gov/greenhouse-gas-reduction-fund.

Do you have a window of what the period of performance would be on funding opportunities? thinking about affordable housing development and the time it takes to develop/retrofit affordable housing with clean energy?
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Yes, the period of performance really matters! There is not one answer across all awardees, and this really depends on the implementation strategies of the financial institutions that were awarded funds. In the example of subsidized affordable housing, multiple awardees have a strategy to align financial products with the investment horizon needed to see results. In some cases, this is a mortgage product or a mortgage add-on for decarbonization and health improvements. In other strategies, a home improvement loan direct to the consumer would support a specific set of improvements.

Have either of the mayors given thought to capitalizing your own Green Revolving Loan Fund to assist in private sector commercial retrofits?
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Irvine, CA took some funding to create not grants and interest free loans. Families that received funds were able to add solar to their rooftops, switch to eco-friendly light bulbs, and modify their landscape to be more sustainable and climate appropriate. (Answered by Mayor Farrah Khan)

Columbia, MO partnered with their electric utility to build a program for energy-efficiency projects, usually related to residential. The partnership specifically allowed for greater flexibility when it came to financing. This also allowed the city to require additional improvements for basic house needs. (Answered by Mayor Barbara Buffaloe)

Can you elaborate on how easy or difficult it is to convince private building owners to retrofit. Do you need an ordinance to require action?
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From the Missouri perspective, the state finds it helpful to lead by example in their own facilities and also using the carrot approach. In other words, the state puts forward the financing/rebates or will allow certain offsets if they are going to do something above and beyond. It has also been helpful having the experts in the industry be the messenger.

From the Irvine perspective, the approach was to really work on getting buy-in from local partners by illustrating how the city’s climate action plan was a community plan. The city also offered a green certification to businesses that went above and beyond which helped encourage others.

Thank you for the helpful insight and your time. We are a community that doesn't yet have a CAP, but are working towards that. Could you share any insight on the best way to take advantage of funding opportunities, like the GGRF, without at this time having an adopted CAP?
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I would add to Lotte's comments that often grants might allow the planning of a "plan" to be part of the project. Like phase 1. What can help is to pass a resolution with the goals you are trying to meet - like 80 by 2050

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