Gardinier Environmental Fund Energy Grants

The Gardinier Environmental Fund is contributing $100,000 to support a Sustainable Jersey Grants Program cycle for municipal governments and public school districts.  For this grant cycle, the Gardinier Environmental Fund will support energy projects focused on conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy.

This cycle will award:

  • Two (2) $20,000 grants
  • Six (6) $10,000 grants

Applicants may only submit ONE grant application, either at the $20,000 or $10,000 grant level.


Application Information

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.


Online Application

Please note email submissions of grant proposals will not be accepted.  All applications must be submitted using the links below.  In order to apply, an applicant must first sign up for an application.  This is true for both NEW and PREVIOUS Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant applicants.  Please note this account is different from the one used to access your certification application.

Online Application Deadline: Friday, October 30, 2020 at 11:59pm

Grant recipients will be announced in mid-January

Complete Application

Make sure to record the email address and password for each application. Grant recipients will need that information to log into the system to complete reporting requirements.


Application Information Packet

For a detailed overview of the grant opportunity download the Application Information Packet here.


Authorization to Submit Grant Application

The school district must provide a resolution from the governing body showing it is authorized to apply for the grant. The resolution should name this specific grant opportunity. It is highly recommended to start the process of obtaining this authorization as early as possible to allow enough time for approval.

Sample Schools Grant Resolution


Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held to will cover eligible projects, the available energy incentive and grant programs, the application process, and online submission procedures. You can watch a recording of the webinar here and review the slideshow presentation here.


Use of Funding

Eligible Projects

Grant proposals must focus on energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, building electrification, energy reliability/resilience, transportation electrification/alternative fuel 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 zero-energy buildings. 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.

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. A list of energy incentive programs is available here.

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

NOTE: EV charging station(s) installation projects are NOT eligible for funding. 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 here and at

NOTE: The purchase of electric vehicles (except for Class 4-8 medium and heavy-duty vehicles) is NOT an eligible project. The Sustainable Jersey Alternative Fuel Vehicle Procurement Guide and a resources flyer from NJDEP provide information on purchasing opportunities.

  • Studies, Plans and Engineering

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


Eligible Expenses

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