Environmental financing

Financing for business energy and environmental projects

Contrary to late night television commercials, there is not a lot of free government money out there waiting for a business idea. All grants are attached to specific required outcomes, and businesses may not be able to meet those requirements. Even so, it is still worth investigating financing options if you have a business plan, a product or program that will result in environmental and energy benefits. Here are some potential sources:

  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) – Includes a list of tax breaks, rebates and grants provided by federal, state and local agencies, and utility companies.
  • Missouri Clean Energy District – Find information about PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy)  financing, which funds 100 percent of energy efficiency or renewable energy project costs through a property lien.
  • USDA Rural Development Grant Assistance – The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers grants, guaranteed loans and combination grant and guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses plan, purchase and install renewable energy systems and invest in energy efficiency projects. See also the USDA Rural Development Loan Assistance.
  • State Energy Loan Program – Administered through the Missouri Energy Center, provides low interest loans to public schools (K-12), public/private colleges and universities, city/county governments, public water and wastewater treatment facilities, and public/private not-for-profit hospitals to invest in energy efficiency projects.
  • EERE (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program) – The U.S. Department of Energy’s EERE program provides financial and procurement assistance to clean energy manufacturers.
  • Missouri Department of Agriculture – Offers financial assistance packages that might be applicable to environmental and energy projects that are related to agriculture, including organic producers, local food projects, farmers markets, animal waste recycling, biodiesel and more.
  • Missouri Market Development Program  – Administered through the Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority (EIERA), this program provides equipment grants that will be used to expand markets for materials recovered from the solid waste stream.
  • Missouri Solid Waste Management District Grants – Allocated for projects that incorporate solid waste reduction, recycling, and resource recovery into local and regional solid waste management activities. To find out eligibility, contact the solid waste district that the business is located in.
  • St. Louis County Economic Council – Provides information on several loan programs in the St. Louis area, including the St. Louis County Recycling Loan.
  • Small Business Association (SBA) – Provides a list of financing opportunities that might be applicable for energy and environmental projects and improvements. For assistance, contact your local Small Business & Technology Development Center.
  • Missouri Department of Natural Resources Financial Assistance  – For recycling equipment, scrap tire clean up and recycling, is available to non-profits, schools, sheltered workshop and communities.