GoodUse FAQs

1) What are the GoodUse eligibility requirements?

    • Federally registered 501c3 nonprofit organization.
    • We work nationally, with our primary focus in the Southeast (see the full map of GoodUse grant recipients).
    • Own the building, or have a long-term lease of at least 5 years.
    • Strong organizational health and meeting our cost share requirements (Match).
    • If the organization is religious, the organization is only eligible if 50% or less of their space is dedicated to religious activities. Religious organizations must also offer non-religious programs to all.
    • Organizations must have an Energy Star Portfolio Manager account with the previous year’s utility data before the award date (existing buildings only).


2) Can I apply for funding for a project that has already been implemented?

No, GoodUse does not retroactively fund projects that have been previously implemented, either prior to applying or prior to signing a grant agreement with Southface.

    • If awarded a grant, projects funded by the grant are only to be implemented AFTER your organization has completed the bid approval process with your assigned Southface engineer and executed a grant agreement.


3) Is there a match requirement for GoodUse grants?

Yes, there is a match requirement for GoodUse grants. The match requirement is determined based on the organization’s annual operating budget shown in the breakdown below:

    • Organizations with an annual operating budget below $1 million are eligible for a 2:1 match, with a grant amount of $40,000 from Southface (up to a $60,000 project).
    • Organizations with an annual operating budget above $1 million are eligible for a 1:1 match with  a grant amount of $75,000 from Southface. (up to a $150,000 project).


4) What ways can my organization meet the matching requirement?        

 Organizations can meet the match requirement in the following ways:

    • Financial/Cash
      • Funds provided by funders/donors or fundraising
      • Endowment or Capital Campaign
      • Operating Budget
      • Other grants
    • In-Kind (In-kind match can total as much as 80% upon approval by Southface)
      • In- house labor
      • Donated or discounted labor, materials, or services by a third party
    • Southface Services
      • Participation in EarthCraft certification
      • Southface Design Consulting Services


5) Does my organization need the match at the time of application?

Your organization should have an idea how you will support the match required for this grant at the time of application. Applications with this information identified are more competitive.

    • If awarded, at least 50% of the match funding should be accessible at the time the grant agreement is executed, and 100% must be identified. 100% must be accessible by 50% project completion.


6) What are some common projects GoodUse funds?

GoodUse funds, Southface approved, above code minimum projects. Project recommendations/requirements are dependent on building usage, sq footage, and building envelope. Examples of common GoodUse upgrade projects (not limited to):

    •  Lighting/lighting controls 
    •  Plumbing & water heaters
    •  Building Automation Systems (BAS) or Wi-Fi thermostats
    • HVAC system replacements or retrocommissioning & controls upgrades
    • Building envelope (roof w/roof insulation, insulation, air sealing, windows/doors)
    • Kitchen appliances
    • Solar PV


7) Do I need to complete all projects recommended by Southface at one time?

No, organizations work directly with Southface engineers to come up with a project phasing plan that works best for them. Organizations are able to “phase” projects, meaning take on projects over multiple rounds of funding.


8) What are the parameters around new construction/ major renovation?      

New construction projects are a very selective basis and are highly competitive. These projects should be at the start of “Design Development” Phase AND after the completion of “System Development (MEP)” Phase). If self identifying as new construction, applicants will be interviewed before award date. We define New Construction/Major renovation as ground up construction or gut rehab of an existing building that our organization has NOT occupied before.


9) Southface was awarded as one of the DOE’s Renew America’s Nonprofit prime recipients. How can I apply to be a subrecipient? 

The Renew America’s Nonprofit grant mirrors our current GoodUse Program. Below outlines the Nonprofit Organization (NPO) eligibility requirements for this funding source.

    • Federally registered 501c3 nonprofit organization.
    • Must own and operate the building.
    • Strong organizational health and must meet our cost share requirements which are based on the NPO’s operating budget (see GoodUse match breakdown).
    • Projects cannot be retroactively funded, so no work may have already started for projects to be considered.
    • No other federal funding can go towards this project.
    • Funding only applies to energy efficiency upgrades, excluding solar.
    • The building must be located in the DOE’s SE region (AL, AR, GA, FL, KY, MI, NC, SC, TN, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) or LA.

We are currently accepting applications. Eligible NPOs can apply using our GoodUse application.


10) If awarded, what is the GoodUse grant process and timeline?

GoodUse has 4 main stages each with specific timelines: Assessment, Project Selection/Bidding, Implementation, and Final Inspection. For full program process description, visit us HERE


11) After my project is complete, what’s next?

    • We recommend as a best practice that grantees continue tracking in ESPM for 2 years post implementation. Keeping a current ESPM is required for future eligibility.
    • Consider reapplying for another grant. Organizations can reapply after 75% of an active project is complete.
    • Complete Post Project Survey to share your project story.

Questions? Please contact Erin Gallagher, GoodUse Program Manager,

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Share your completed GoodUse project story here.