nzero 2024
Net zero has a new standard
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Did you know that millions of dollars in grant funding is available for governmental organizations to develop and implement greenhouse gas reduction plans?

In this article, we'll give you a high-level overview of the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently announced Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) initiative and its two phases, as well as a step-by-step guide for MSAs looking to apply for – and maximize – funding.

Overview Of The EPA CPRG Program

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grant is a $5 billion federal grant program consisting 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 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.
  • If you’re awarded Implementation Grant funding, you will be required to submit 3 key deliverables (see below for details) over the next 4 years.

Phase 1 and 2 visual

How MSAs can apply for CPRG phase 1

If you represent an MSA, follow these simple steps to apply for Phase 1 funding:

Step 1 – Review eligibility

  • Ensure your MSA is among the 67 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas – each eligible for $1 million in funding. Click here for a list of the MSAs.

Step 2 – Submit a Notice of Intent to Participate (NOIP)

  • Coordinate across your MSA to designate a lead organization to manage grant funds and oversee the climate plan development process. Your lead organization will need to submit a NOIP (notice of intent to participate) – due on April 28, 2023. Submissions need to be sent to:
  • This notice indicates your MSA's intention to participate in the program. It is highly recommended that collaborating jurisdictions submit letter(s) along with the NOIP, indicating their commitment to work with the lead organization on the metropolitan area plan; as well as, a clear statement indicating which MSA the lead organization is representing.
  • The NOIP must include an attached letter or memo signed by an authorized official.
  • Click here for a sample NOIP.

This is a high level overview and not an exhaustive list of requirements. We recommend you review the EPA’s website for a comprehensive overview of the program and application process. Click here to view the CPRG comprehensive overview document.

When Is Phase 1 Funding Expected?

Phase 1 funding to grantees is expected to be awarded in early summer 2023!

Did you know…

Your guaranteed, non-competitive phase 1 funding can be used to pay for NZero! While other platforms require you to gather your own data, NZero automates your data collection, applies the most accurate emissions factors, and delivers the insights you need to be competitive and maximize phase 2 Implementation grants. 

How MSAs Can Apply For CPRG Phase 2

If you represent an MSA, here are a few key highlights regarding the competitive Implementation Grants.

Step 1 – Prepare your application package

  • Lead organizations for MSA applicants are required to submit an application package through
    • It’s strongly recommended your lead organization contacts the EPA about their request and work plan prior to submitting the application. If the EPA needs to discuss any corrections or has any questions, they will contact your lead organization.
  • The full list of application package requirements can be found in more detail here, but generally are: a narrative work plan, budgeting information, a list of key contacts and more.

Did you know…

 The most competitive phase 2 applicants will be those with access to the best data – meaning unlocking a hyper accurate view into your carbon footprint is critical. NZero’s data is 35% more accurate than commonly used averages and competitor data – giving you the best chance at receiving phase 2 funding from the EPA. Don’t forget, you can use your guaranteed phase 1, non-competitive funding to pay for NZero! 

Step 2 – Submit your application package

Your lead organization authorized official representative must submit your application package and all associated requirements electronically to the EPA. Instructions are available on

The deadline for MSAs is May 31, 2023.

Step 3 – Requirements of funding recipients

Congratulations! If your application is successful and the EPA grants you phase 2 funding, you will be required to produce 3 key deliverables over the course of the next few years.

  1. Create a Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) that includes a GHG inventory, quantified GHG reduction measures, and more. Due March 1, 2024.
  2. Develop or refine a Comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CCAP) that includes A GHG inventory, GHG emissions projections, GHG reduction targets, Quantified GHG reduction measures, and more. Due 2 years from the date of the award (summer-fall 2025).
  3. Provide a Status Report including the status of the quantified GHG reduction measures included in your CCAP, updated analyses or projections; as well as, next steps, future budget/staffing needs for ongoing CCAP execution. Due at the close of the 4-year grant period (summer-fall 2027).

This is a high level overview and not an exhaustive list of application package details. We recommend you review the EPA’s website for a comprehensive overview of the program and application process. Click here to view the CPRG comprehensive overview document.

When is Phase 2 Funding Expected?

Phase 2 funding is expected 1st quarter, 2024!

The EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants present an incredible opportunity for MSAs to secure funding and support their efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

By understanding the two-phases and following the simple steps outlined above, your MSA can take advantage of this federal grant program to drive positive environmental change in your community. Stay tuned for more updates on Phase 2 of the CPRG, and good luck with your application! Contact us if you have any questions on how NZero can help apply for and leverage funds.

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