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CEEP RFP Frequently Asked Questions

Can you apply for a development grant and an implementation grant for separate projects?

Is the $75,000 a cap for the amount for a development grant?

Can two different municipalities join together to present a proposal?

Could a development grant be used to help grow other partners?

Garfield has a low density of population. How does that compare to offering services in another, more populous county?

Would a proposal for Benton County be considered even though it has been served in the past?

Could development grant funding be used to develop and advocate for a change in policy at the state level that would promote decarbonization in the low income sector?

Do the leverage requirements favor groups that already have some type of program or relationships in place?

Would low interest loans be considered leverage?

Can a smaller non-profit organization lead a project, but partner with a larger, perhaps governmental, organization that can be the fiscal agent for a project that the non-profit might not have the administrative or financial structure to support on its own?


Answers

Can you apply for a development grant and an implementation grant for separate projects?

Yes

Is the $75,000 a cap for the amount for a development grant?

Yes. The development grants will be capped at $75,000 per grant as a general rule. We may consider an increase up to $100,000 in exceptional circumstances, and if we have available funding.

Can two different municipalities join together to present a proposal?

Yes. We encourage partnerships that can help increase the reach of CEEP.

Could a development grant be used to help grow other partners?

Probably so – depending on the circumstances. If the purpose is to grow a team by connecting with a partner who can also be a mentor, the proposal might qualify – particularly if the primary proposer is the ultimate lead partner for an implementation grant. Proposals which identify and have letters of commitment from potential partners are more likely to be funded.

Garfield has a low density of population. How does that compare to offering services in another, more populous county?

Our focus on expanding the reach of the program definitely means that a proposal that provides broad service in a higher population county rather than a lower population one might be looked upon more favorably. However, it is helpful to keep in mind a key intent of CEEP funding is to test approaches to scale decarbonization in harder to reach markets. A proposal to develop/test strategies that could be applied in other low density markets would be far more likely to be funded than one that just focuses on providing services to Garfield County.

Would a proposal for Benton County be considered even though it has been served in the past?

The WSU Energy Program will be evaluating proposals across several criteria. Prior service is only one criterion. A strong proposal meeting other CEEP criteria would likely be competitive. Success will depend upon who else proposes and the available funding.

Could development grant funding be used to develop and advocate for a change in policy at the state level that would promote decarbonization in the low income sector?

Probably not. It would be critical to establish a clear link between the proposed policy and how it would remove a critical barrier to a planned program or service that the proposer plans to offer. It would also be essential to show how the change would result in leveraging NEW funding and investments, rather than redirecting existing funding. Keep in mind that CEEP focuses on households that are moderate/limited income (125-300% of FPL) that are not well served by existing low income programs. CEEP funding also cannot be used to lobby the state legislature or state agencies for program or policy changes.

Do the leverage requirements favor groups that already have some type of program or relationships in place?

The leverage expectation was established by the Legislature. It is a challenging expectation to meet. The development grants were established to provide seed funding and time to build programs and relationships that can help those without a current program in place to position themselves to meet the leverage requirement.

Would low interest loans be considered leverage?

Yes. Low interest loans could meet some of the leverage requirements. A proposal which relies exclusively on match via financing is unlikely to be successful. Loan and financing models have been tested multiple times in the Northwest and have been difficult to scale, expensive to administer, and not effective at reaching low and moderate income households. We see them as potentially part of the leverage solution, but not the entire solution.

Can a smaller non-profit organization lead a project, but partner with a larger, perhaps governmental, organization that can be the fiscal agent for a project that the non-profit might not have the administrative or financial structure to support on its own?

Yes. This is a good strategy for generating administrative capabilities and potentially operational match. As noted above, we believe that partnerships can be successful mechanisms for achieving effective, scalable programs.