nzero 2024
Net zero has a new standard
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Access $5 billion Dollars In Funding

Federal funding for climate investments is increasing at an unprecedented level. The $369B Inflation Reduction Act was the largest climate investment in US history. More recently, the EPA instituted the $5B Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program.

Need help with the application process? Check out our article ‘The EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grants – A Complete Guide for MSAs’

The CPRG Program Consists Of Two Phases:

Phase 1: Planning Grants

  • The $250 million dollar grant is available for States, the 67 most populous MSAs, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • This phase is non-competitive, which means that every eligible MSA who applies is guaranteed $1M in climate funding!

Phase 2: Implementation Grants

  • The substantially larger ($4.6 billion dollar) competitive program is only available to MSAs who submit a phase 1 application by 4/28/23 and a full application by 5/31/23.
  • This phase is competitive, so you need to submit a compelling application to gain access to this larger pool of funding.

 Climate investment of this magnitude presents an exceptional opportunity for MSAs to seize control of their climate action strategies and transform their sustainability aspirations into tangible outcomes, but this opportunity only comes to those with the strongest applications. 

Don’t be fooled

There are a variety of straightforward application requirements, but don’t be fooled! Simply checking the boxes of required materials doesn’t make your MSA’s phase 2 Implementation Grants application stand out; in fact, you will blend in among the other applicants and decrease your chances of receiving pivotal climate investment.

A Sneak Peek Into Your Fellow Applicants

Your fellow CPRG Phase 2 applicants will rely on ICLEI ClearPath, or otherwise use annual average emission factors, to conduct GHG inventories, forecasts and create their Priority Climate Action Plans.

They'll build their application with the assumption that their data supports the many key deliverables the EPA requires of funding recipients; some of which are: a GHG inventory, quantified GHG reduction measures, GHG emissions projections, reduction targets and more.

What’s The Issue With Their Data?

The EPA is fully aware of how misleading and inaccurate annual emissions data is. In fact, the entire carbon accounting industry is starting to recognize this fact. The United Nations now advocates for a 24/7 standard of carbon accounting, GRESB, PCAF and CREMM now push time-of-use, hourly emission factors–which is to say, the new gold standard is monitoring emissions 24 hours a day, every day for 365 days in a year. Contrast this with the standard annual averages your fellow applicants are using and you’re sure to see a major opportunity to stand out – better data.

How To Make Your Application Stand Out And Receive Funding

Think about it from the perspective of the EPA–the most compelling Phase 2 applicants will be the best stewards of funding. They’ll prioritize applicants who demonstrate a clear understanding of climate challenges and present gold-standard, data-backed solutions to drive measurable impact.

If emissions and energy data are the bedrock of any downstream climate initiatives, then applicants who utilize real time 24/7 data will greatly increase their chances of distinguishing themselves among other applicants and unlock substantial federal funding.

So how do you get hourly emissions and energy tracking?

Unlock Your Funding With NZero

 First and foremost, you can get NZero for free. If you apply to the non-competitive Phase 1 Planning Grants (MSAs deadline 4/28/23), you’re guaranteed $1 million dollars of climate funding you can use to pay for NZero. 

Armed with NZero you unlock 24/7 carbon accounting and management capabilities with the most accurate and real-time emissions data– effectively positioning your application among the most innovative and forward-thinking governing bodies in carbon accounting and management.

Not only does this level of data granularity significantly increase your likelihood of receiving CPRG Phase 2 funding, but it dramatically optimizes CAPEX and OPEX across your entire MSA. Understanding your carbon footprint and real-time energy use empowers you to make data-driven decisions to reduce emissions, operational costs and engage your constituents.

Phase 1 With NZero

As previously mentioned, you can use non-competitive funding to pay for NZero. Armed with our platform and services, your MSA can create a compelling narrative workplan (a required Phase 2 deliverable) that demonstrates your interagency coordination, stakeholder engagement, outputs, outcomes and performance measures. You will also be required to describe how you will execute the 3 core deliverables: a Priority Climate Action Plan, a Comprehensive Climate Action Plan, and a final Status Report.

Communicating to the EPA that you’re using 24/7 real-time emissions data to execute GHG inventories, quantified GHG reduction measures, GHG emission projections and more will no doubt distinguish you from your fellow applicants.

Phase 2 With NZero

Should your application succeed and your MSA is granted CPRG funding, you will be required to produce 3 key deliverables over the next few years–all requiring detailed analyses of your emissions data. This stage is where the real impact occurs, and NZero can play a vital role in making it a success. With NZero's support, your MSA can effectively execute its plans by optimizing resource allocation, monitoring progress, and adapting to challenges or changes along the way.

Our team of experts and state-of-the-art platform can help you implement your Priority Climate Action Plan more effectively–increasing the likelihood of hitting your sustainability targets. Moreover, NZero can help you access additional funding opportunities (outside of the CPRG), ensuring your climate initiatives remain sustainable in the long run.

NZero At A High Level:

  • Automates your data capture and is 35% more accurate than your fellow applicants’ data
  • Collects the gold-standard, hourly energy consumption data directly from the energy source–positioning your MSA among the most innovative carbon accounting and management practices in the world
  • Models the carbon intensity of the electricity grid and calculates the carbon intensity for every individual hour of energy usage for every one of your sites–showcasing your ability to steward EPA funding with quantifiable and crystal-clear clarity
  • Deploys compliance-backed advanced grid methodology
  • Pairs you with a dedicated customer success team to help gather and sync data into the platform
  • Offers communication tools such as a Public Emissions Portal, so you can easily engage and inspire the community (and other MSAs!) with your sustainability journey

In Conclusion

Your data serves as the bedrock for every downstream decision you make. If you’re serious about maximizing your chances of receiving CPRG funding, the answer is clear: get access to the best emissions data possible with NZero. It will not only distinguish you from other applicants but help you to focus on what really matters: reducing emissions, reducing costs, and building a better tomorrow.

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