The Federal Government has set a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments will flow to disadvantaged communities that were historically underserved and/or are disproportionately impacted by climate change. To meet this goal, many Federal program guidelines are being rewritten to ensure disadvantaged communities are positioned to receive at least 40 percent of available funding. This includes programs that are financed through grant funding, loans, direct spending, staffing, or through other avenues. Programs that fall under Justice40 are from one of seven climate-related areas: climate change, clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, training and workforce development, remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, and the development of critical clean water and wastewater infrastructure.
All Justice40 programs are required to include stakeholder consultation to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in determining program benefits.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) are both included within the Justice40 Initiative. This means that 40 percent of the available grants and spending for each will be focused on underserved communities. And although tax credits are not direct spending equally available for individuals and organizations, additional rebates will be available to disadvantaged communities and low-income residents. Learn more below about to find resources and information to access this funding.
All of the new grant initiatives through IRA and the BIL will have some Justice40 requirements. The federal government is motivated to see local entities working closely with and maximizing benefits to disadvantaged communities.
To stay up to date with federal grant opportunities sign up for the State of Wisconsin's Office of Energy Innovation email alerts and look at the EPA's list of Environmental Justice Funding page for funding opportunities. You can also sign up for our IRA email alerts.
Two thirds of the IRA funding will come from tax credits. To maximize the amount of funding flowing to underserved communities, rebate programs will soon be available for homeowners and landlords for multi-family buildings, with more funding available for low and moderate income individuals. Learn more about the upcoming rebate programs here.
Additionally, organizations applying for tax credits will be eligible for bonus credits if their projects are located in Energy Communities. Learn more about how to calculate your eligible tax credits and learn whether your organization is sited in an Energy Community.
Take a look at some of the tools and resources below to assess whether your project might qualify as a disadvantaged community. Different grants use differing criteria, so check which tools are applicable for each application.