Gardinier Grant Cycle

The Gardinier Environmental Fund is contributing $150,000 to support a Sustainable Jersey Grants Program cycle for municipal governments and public school districts. For this grant cycle, the Gardinier Environmental Fund will fund energy projects focused on energy conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy. Projects can fall into the following categories: innovative energy projects; energy resiliency including microgrids and/or energy storage; renewable energy installations; programs, planning, and policies to encourage adoption of alternative fuel vehicles; building efficiency upgrades (excluding lighting-only upgrades); energy education projects; and energy studies and business and engineering planning for projects likely to advance into implementation.

Eligible Applicants

  • Be a New Jersey municipality or public school district that is registered with Sustainable Jersey or Sustainable Jersey for Schools AND have an appointed green team that meets the program requirements.

Application Information

The 2019-2020 Gardinier Environmental Fund Grants Program cycle will award:

  • Two (2) $30,000 grants
  • Nine (9) $10,000 grants

Access the online application via this link:

Application Submission Deadline: Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 11:59pm

For more information download the Application Information Packet.

Recipient Announcement Date: Mid-January


Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held on Wednesday, September 18 from 1:00pm-2:00pm. This webinar covered eligible projects, the available energy incentive and grant programs, the application process, and online submission procedures. The webinar and presentation slides are posted here.


Online Application Portal

All applications must be submitted using the online application portal (shown below) via the links above. In order to apply, an applicant must first sign up for an application. This is true for both new applicants and those who have previously applied in past cycles.

Each Sustainable Jersey and Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant cycle is unique. Information on previously submitted applications including the login information is not carried over. However, the same login information (email and password) that was used previously can be used to sign up for a new application.

Note:This account is different from the account used to access your certification application.

You may save your work, log out, and resume your in-progress application at any time by using the login feature. However, once submitted, you will no longer be able to access the application. Drafts of the application will automatically save every 5 minutes and a "save draft" button is available at the end of the application form. It is encouraged to save manually using the button often.

Be sure to record the email address and password for each application. Grant recipients will need that information to log into the system to complete the required reports.


Eligible Energy Projects

Sustainable Jersey encourages municipalities and school districts to undertake energy-related projects. Listed below are a variety of project categories that could significantly improve energy efficiency, promote the use of renewable energy sources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Grant funding can also be used to support projects that aid municipal efforts to achieve a Sustainable Jersey Gold Star for Energy and are innovative models for the state.

Grant proposals must focus on energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, building electrification, energy reliability/resilience, transportation electrification/alternative fueled vehicles, or other energy-related projects. Other energy-related projects include engineering studies and/or business planning for innovative energy projects. The Gardinier Environmental Fund is particularly interested in innovative energy projects that take a comprehensive approach to meeting advanced energy conservation objectives, such as achieving net-zero energy buildings.

Types of eligible projects include: 

  • Energy Conservation
  • Energy Efficiency 

NOTE: Lighting only upgrade projects of any kind are NOT eligible for funding. This includes street lighting, stadium lighting, parking lot lighting, and other exterior and interior lighting. Direct Install projects for the replacement of HVAC equipment, boilers, etc. that also include lighting upgrades will still be considered as long as they take advantage of applicable incentives. See Section M in the Application Information Package for a list of incentives.

  • Renewable Energy
  • Building Electrification                   
  • Energy Reliability and Resiliency 
  • Transportation Electrification/Alternative Fuel Vehicles

NOTE: Applicants interested in installing EV charging stations should apply for NJDEP’s “It Pay$ to Plug In” program.  Applications for purchase of EV charging stations will not be considered for Gardinier grants. Details on the NJDEP grant program are provided in Section M of the Application Information Package and at

NOTE: Applicants interested in purchasing electric vehicles must identify the class of vehicle and follow the guidelines presented in Section C of the Application Information PackageLight-duty electric vehicles (such as passenger vehicles and SUVs) are NOT eligible for $30,000 grants.

 Read more about the eligible energy projects in the Application Information Package


Use of Grant Funding

Eligible expenses include salaries, contractor/consultant costs, equipment, materials, and supplies. Facilities and administrative (overhead) costs may not be charged to the grant.



Matching or in-kind contributions are encouraged, but not necessary with the exception of state-sponsored or utility-sponsored incentive/grant programs. If your project is eligible for NJCEP, NJDEP, or utility-sponsored energy conservation or energy efficiency funding, you MUST participate in these programs and include the anticipated funding in the project budget.


Tips for a Successful Grant Application

Successful grant applications often represent innovative projects underway throughout the state, and can act as a model and generate ideas for other municipalities.  Always make sure to carefully review the evaluation criteria, as this is what the selection committee bases their application reviews on.

Grant writing resources that provide tips on how to write a good grant proposal and additional in-kind and funding resources to explore are available here on the Sustainable Jersey website.


This Grants Program cycle is funded by:


If you have any questions, please contact or 609-771-3189.


The Grant Management System is provided by WizeHive