PCEF Strategic Program 1: Clean energy in multifamily affordable housing

Learn about eligibility requirements for this PCEF grant program. Administered through PHB, Strategic Program 1 supports clean energy in regulated multifamily affordable housing.
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What is PCEF Strategic Program 1?

Strategic Program 1 (SP1) of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) is a grant program administered through PHB to provide up to $60 million over 5 years to regulated multifamily affordable housing projects located in the city of Portland. The goal of this Strategic Program is to raise the bar on efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in new and redeveloped affordable housing projects serving low-income and other frontline communities.

More about the Portland Clean Energy Fund

Eligible Projects

To be eligible, a project must be all of the following: 

  1. Be directly funded by PHB or Oregon Housing and Community Services (“OHCS”);  
  2. Restrict the leasing of housing units to tenants who meet 60% Area Median Income (AMI) income requirements for a period of at least 30 years;  
  3. Shall have been awarded monies for capital costs through a competitive solicitation process or private activity bonds; and  
  4. Be more than 20 units.  

Eligible Uses

PCEF Funds may compose up to 10% of the total hard construction costs of an Eligible Project. Funding is prioritized for the energy efficiency and renewable energy measures as described below.

PCEF-Funded Hard Construction Costs

Hard construction costs include the reasonable costs of labor and materials for proper design and installation of certain measures; and the difference in costs between estimated baseline or lower efficiency alternative option and the proposed higher efficiency alternative.  

For the measure(s) identified below, PCEF will fund the difference in cost between the estimated baseline or lower efficiency option and the proposed higher efficiency alternative:  

  • High efficiency electric water heating with preference for heat pumps;  
  • High efficiency electric heating and air conditioning with preference for heat pumps;  
  • High efficiency ventilation systems;  
  • Above code, high value insulation;  
  • Air sealing, which improves on code (e.g. 0.40CFM75) or equivalent (0.30CFM50) by at least 10% over the ELR (Envelope Leakage Ratio).

For the measures listed below, PCEF will fund the full Hard Construction Costs not already covered by another funding source: 

  • Solar generation;  
  • Solar storage (new or existing renewable generation);  
  • Electric vehicle charging stations above electric vehicle readiness required by code; and  
  • Tree planting above code plus five years of establishment care.  

PCEF-Funded Soft Construction Costs

PCEF fully covers the following soft costs:  

  • The costs of energy modelling associated with estimating energy savings from PCEF-funded measures;  
  • Clean energy feasibility studies if not funded by other sources;  
  • Tenant and building operations staff training on PCEF measures that takes place within one year following initial occupancy.  

Application and Approval Process

Projects can apply for PCEF through a PHB Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) solicitation.

Information on PHB solicitations

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Process steps include:

Flow chart of the application process with 6 steps: Submittal, evaluation, PCEF endorsement, PCEF approval, grant agreement with PHB, and lastly, funds disbursement.