Skip to content

CFA Reopens State Energy Grant/Loan Programs

The Commonwealth Financing Authority met this week and approved reopening its energy programs for applications beginning immediately.  Scott Dunkelberger, Executive Director of the CFA, told ERG that the program would again begin accepting applications for the Alternative & Clean Energy (ACE) and the High Performance Building Programs.

The Alternative and Clean Energy Program (the Program) provides financial assistance in the form of grant and loan funds that will be used by eligible applicants for the utilization, development and construction of alternative energy production and clean energy projects in the Commonwealth. The Program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority.  Eligible applicants must provide evidence of a commitment of matching funds at the project site, at least $1 for every $1 of Program funds awarded by the CFA.

The ACE program has been closed since last summer while the CFA updated and modified the guidelines for applications, grants and loans.  With the new guidelines, ACE grants and loans will also be open to projects using compressed national gas and developing/constructing CNG infrastructure.  In its three years of operations, the ACE program has approved grants and loans to 73 projects, with almost $44 million in grants and another $23.5 million in loans offered. Commitments have ranged from a $27,000 loan for purchase of energy efficient street lighting by a SW PA borough to a $6 million grant for development of a wind project in Cambria County.

ERG Partner John Nikoloff said the firm was pleased that the CFA board had updated the guidelines and resolved the issues which had held up the program for several months. 

“ERG has worked closely with CFA staff on the ACE program and other energy programs with the Authority.  The professionalism at DCED has helped ensure that projects with sound technology and solid financials can move forward.”  ERG has successfully moved a dozen projects through the CFA application and evaluation process.

He said the CFA expects to establish a greater balance between loans and grants going forward. The interest rates for ACE loans based on the 10 year Treasury note plus 2.5 points, according to Dunkelberger.  Previously that rate had been set at 5%.  The interest rates will be reset on a quarterly basis.  He said that applications can be submitted immediately and must be filed at least 60 days in advance of the CFA meeting at which they will be considered. 

More details on the program guidelines and application information are available by contacting ERG, and soon will be available on the Department of Community and Economic Development’s website at

At its meeting this week, the CFA also approved a transfer of $7.25 million in funding from the Authority to the Department of Environmental Protection to complete that agency’s Sunshine Solar Program, which has been on hold since August 2011 because demand for the program exceeded available funds.