Funding Opportunities

The Pittsburgh 2030 District has compiled the following services and benefits for District Partners. The District and its convener, Green Building Alliance, build on strategic partnerships to leverage and/or create additional services, tools, and support that District Partners need to accomplish the 2030 Challenge goals.

Worried about upfront cost? There are incentive programs available that can make upgrading a building more affordable.

The Pittsburgh 2030 District is also working to centralize and streamline information about financing incentives and opportunities for District Partners. These opportunities may be made available through Community or Resource Partners, local utilities, or yet-to-be developed financing mechanisms. Pittsburgh 2030 District Property Partners are highly encouraged to take advantage of existing utility incentives, which helps utilities reach their state level reduction goals and reduces time and resources spent on recruitment for these programs.

The financing opportunities listed here may be changed from time to time by the organization administering the program. Please check with the listed organization to verify program availability and requirements.


Demand Response

Best for: large commercial and industrial customers.

Our energy grid is highly reliable, however there are times when it experiences significant stress, like that hot day when everyone is blasting the AC. The significant peak in usage generally has one of two undesirable results. Power companies could be forced to fire up older, less efficient generation plants, which is expensive. If they cannot/will not manage this in time, your building could experience a brown out. Customers and companies can prevent these costs by trading; if customers reduce their electric usage, power companies can avoid an enormous hit to their bottom line. In order to incentivize this bargain, power companies have created the Demand Response (DR) Program, in which they PAY YOU to reduce your consumption. Read More


Duquesne Light WATT CHOICES

Best for: all building types and sizes.

WATT CHOICES helps customers conserve energy and reduce demand while lowering their electricity costs. It provides rebates and discounts on a wide range of energy-saving devices for commercial (and residential!) customers.


Forward Capacity Payments

Best for: commercial or industrial buildings, large multifamily residential.

You already know that energy efficiency upgrades save you money by lowering your utility bills. But did you know that you can also receive payment from our regional grid? If you’ve done (or are planning) a lighting, HVAC, or VFD project, received a rebate from Duquesne Light, or demonstrated energy use reduction for a LEED certified building, you might be able to increase your savings.

PJM Interconnection, our regional electrical grid, offers payment for permanent load reduction. If this seems like a strange proposition, consider that PJM forecasts and prepares for peak demand not this year, but four years in the future. They ensure electricity will be on-hand to meet those peak loads, and balancing that supply and demand is precise work. When PJM knows that your building will be operating more efficiently (aka, demanding less electricity), they can build that information into their models. So permanently avoided energy consumption becomes a commodity with real value, called forward capacity (Demand response programs are somewhat similar and applicable to temporarily avoided energy-use).

Accessing these funds can be tricky, but they are a real source of cash for commercial property owners and managers. Capacity payments are available for projects completed in the last four years, so a project you’ve already finished could generate funds to complete your next endeavor.

More good news? Green Building Alliance and CPower can help. Let us know if you’ve completed a project in the last four years, or when you’re ready for your next project, and we’ll walk you through the process. To see if your project is a good fit, contact us. And if you want to dive deeper into forward capacity market, learn more here and here.

(Disclosure: CPower collects a percentage of the payment as their fee for service as a licensed curtailment service provider. As a referral partner, GBA receives a small portion of that fee).


Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Finance (PennSEF)

Best for: non-profits (including municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals) with a large future upgrade.

PennSEF provides access to affordable financing to municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, and large nonprofits for projects that promote energy or water efficiency and clean energy generation, in addition to economic development and environmental responsibility. Interested candidates will benefit from a free preliminary audit and available technical and legal guidance, in addition to pre-vetted vendor lists and built-in savings verification. The program is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment, and the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund. Learn More


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Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

Best for: small businesses.

Small Business Energy Savings Program - Low interest financing for energy efficiency improvements.