Thursday, April 12, 2018

RVA Solar Fund Awarding Grants Through April 19

The RVA Solar Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation, is now seeking grant
applications from nonprofit organizations in the greater Richmond region that want to go solar on site. If your nonprofit organization owns or has a long-term (20-year) lease of one or more buildings that have unshaded roofs in good condition totaling 10,000 square feet or more, you could qualify for an award. Grantees will:

• Enter into a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) which will provide energy cost savings via on-site solar with no capital or maintenance costs to the host and

•Receive up to $50,000 to support administrative costs, staff and teacher training, or other sustainability initiatives related to this effort.

Final grant amounts will depend on the impact and merits of the applicants’ proposals.

Program timeline:

• Nonbinding Notices of Interest will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 19, 2018.

• Invitations to submit full applications will be distributed by April 24, 2018.

• Full Applications are due by 5 p.m. on June 14, 2018.

Learn More:

• Call-in/Webinar Session: April 17, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. Register at

• Call 800-958-7650 or email with questions.

Learn more, register for events, and apply at

Monday, March 26, 2018

Faith-Based Environmental Workshop is May 8

8:50 – 9:05 Check in
9:05 – 9:10 Opening Comments
8:30 – 9:15 Jennifer Hatchett, City of Richmond on RVAH20
9:15 – 9:25 Shawn Ralston – James River Association on River Hero Homes, Green Infrastructure Funding Projects
9:35 – 9:45 Blair Blanchette – Chesapeake Bay Foundation on 2nd Street Baptist Church

9:45 – 9:55 Break

9:55 – 10:05 Amy Hagerdon – Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay on How to Install a Rain Garden
10:05 – 10:15 Jonét Prévost-White, City of Richmond on Stormwater Fee Credits
10:05 – 10:15 Michelle Tarry, Richmond Gas Works on MetroCare Heat Program
10:15 – 10:25 Rita Randolph, Dominion Energy on Energyshare
10:25 – 10:35 Darlene Mallory, City of Richmond on Recycling
10:35 -- 10:45 Question and Answers

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Keep Virginia Beautiful Now Accepting Grant Applications Through April 30

The 30 Grants in Thirty Days initiative is designed to empower groups all across Virginia to make an environmental impact in their own communities. Keep Virginia Beautiful awards grants of $500-$1,000 for projects in each of these four categories:  Community Beautification and Greening, Litter Prevention, Recycling, and Cigarette Litter Prevention. Since 2011, they have provided $178,000 for 230 different projects at schools, colleges, parks, counties and towns, environmental groups, associations, nonprofits, and service organizations!
New this year! To expand the reach of their 30 Grants in Thirty Days initiative, and in celebration of our 65th Anniversary year, they will give away cleanup kits to groups and individuals! Names will be selected in a random drawing.  You do not need to complete a grant application to enter the Cleanup Kit Contest!
For the 30 Grants in Thirty Days initiative, online applications will be accepted through April 30, in honor of Earth Month. A panel of expert judges will review the applications in May, and announce the “30 Grants in Thirty Days” recipients each day in the month of June on social media and and the Keep Virginia Beautiful website.
  • Litter Prevention – Grants will be awarded to parks, communities, government or nonprofit entities, or other groups that implement programs in Virginia to reduce litter. Funding will support educational outreach materials, and cleanup events. The purpose of these grants is to support sustainable prevention and a measurable reduction of litter within Virginia’s communities.
  • Recycling – Grants are awarded to schools, parks, communities, government or nonprofit entities, or other groups that implement or expand programs to reduce waste and increase recycling in Virginia. Funding will support educational outreach materials, receptacles, and recycling events. The purpose of these grants is to promote waste reduction and a measurable increase in reuse and recycling within Virginia’s communities.
  • Beautification – Grants will be awarded to schools, parks, communities, government or nonprofit entities, or other groups in Virginia who support programs that beautify and clean. Funding will support community gardens, restoring vacant lots, highway and shoreline enhancement, plantings, graffiti abatement, revitalization projects, and sustainable neighborhood gardens. The purpose of these grants is to support beautification efforts within Virginia’s communities.
  • Cigarette Litter Prevention – Cigarette butts account for over 30 percent of all U.S. roadway litter and storm drain litter. Grants will be awarded for projects that include public education and awareness of the issue of cigarette litter, placing ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings, and/or distributing pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.

For more information, visit programs.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Richmond Region Energy Alliance

Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA) formed in 2010 to break down the barriers to residential energy efficiency and renewable, sustainable energy. Many homeowners do not know how to improve the comfort of their home, lower their energy bills, or reduce their carbon footprint. RREA is the local Richmond solution, a one-stop non-profit energy coach where people can go for objective advice on clean energy and energy efficiency solutions.

The SolarizeRVA program makes solar purchasing simple and affordable for homes and businesses and offers community-wide group purchasing and marketing to reduce costs, as well as pre-qualifies solar contractors.

Home energy check-ups are provided by certified energy advisors who can even install on-the-spot savings measures. RREA's partnership with Secure Futures provides no-cost solar for schools, universities, churches, local government, hospitals and non-profits.

From 2013 to 2016, RREA was the local partner for Dominion’s Home Energy Check-Up program. Through this program, they provided recommendations and install energy efficiency upgrades at no cost for 242 homeowners.

Also, RREA is a sponsor of Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES), helping homeowners identify qualified contractors and access rebates and financing to make home energy improvements that increase the comfort, safety, and health of their home, while improving their carbon footprint.

For more information visit

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Public Works Building Receives LEED Certification

 The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has granted LEED Certification to City of Richmond Department of Public Works' Commerce Road Building 1 at 1654 Commerce Road.

The building has been designated silver certification under the LEED 2009 New Construction and Major Renovations rating system. The construction was part of the Parker Field Redevelopment Project, in which all buildings and employees at Parker Field's DPW offices were relocated.

Seven categories comprise the overall USGBC rating criteria: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design, regional priority credits. Of the available 108 points, 52 were attempted and 53 were awarded. Silver certification is granted at 50 points.

Commerce Road Building 1 was recognized in several areas, including: water efficient landscaping, indoor air quality plan during construction and before occupancy, control of system lighting and thermal comfort, bicycle storage and changing room.

According to the Council, LEED certification “identifies your building as a showcase example of sustainability and demonstrates your leadership in transforming the building industry.”

The Council is now encouraging the city to share the work with the growing green community. Making the project public would put the Commerce Road building in the Council’s LEED project directory. Such projects are also eligible for additional marketing and promotional campaigns.

The Commerce Road Building 1 houses the administrative offices for the department’s Operations Division.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Voice Your Support for Sustainable Development at Community Workshops

North of Broad
Downtown Neighborhood Redevelopment

Share your ideas about redeveloping vacant land that was once a downtown Richmond neighborhood. The city government has asked for plans to create new housing and workspaces, shape community spaces, replace the outdated Coliseum, and re-open the Blues Armory. Share your ideas here. A Richmond-based group will use the community's input to respond to the City's request to help rebuild a downtown neighborhood.

Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Six Points Innovation Center, 3001 Meadowbridge Road 23222

Saturday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Black History Museum and Cultural Center, 122 W Leigh St., 23220

Other locations and online information here:

Monday, November 20, 2017

City Designated SolSmart Silver for Advancing Solar Energy Growth

The City of Richmond received a silver designation from the national SolSmart program for taking bold steps to remove obstacles to solar development and encourage solar energy growth during the 2017 National League of Cities (NLC) City Summit which took place Nov. 15-18 in Charlotte, NC.

SolSmart is led by the Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). It is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. More than 100 cities, counties and small towns have achieved SolSmart designation since the program launched in 2016.

To receive designation, cities and counties make changes to their local permitting processes, as well as planning and zoning procedures, to reduce the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. SolSmart designees may also develop innovations in areas such as market development and finance.

“SolSmart designation is part of our RVAgreen 2050 initiative to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “As a SolSmart Silver designee, we’re helping our residents and businesses obtain affordable, reliable and clean electricity through solar. We’ve also signaled our community is open for solar companies to do business here, which drives economic development and creates local jobs.”

SolSmart uses objective criteria to award communities points based on the actions they take to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient action are designated either gold, silver or bronze.

As part of the SolSmart program, a team of national experts provides no-cost technical assistance to help communities achieve designation. All cities and counties are eligible to join the SolSmart program and receive this technical assistance. Interested communities can learn more at

For more information contact or call 646-3055.