WELCOME: NJ Cool Pilot Program Application


Program Description:

The NJ Cool Pilot Program seeks to reduce operating greenhouse gas emissions from existing commercial buildings in the state by providing financial assistance to property owners and tenants undertaking retrofit construction projects.

Using funding available to NJEDA under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), grants will be provided to offset hard construction costs for projects that either include:

A) Switching the majority (75% or more) of building space heating loads from existing fossil fuel-based combustion systems to non-combustion heating systems with low to zero direct operating emissions


B) Replacing the majority (75% or more) of existing high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants used for cooling within the building with low GWP alternatives.

In addition, supporting work that further reduces building operating emissions and/or improves energy efficiency of the building can also be considered eligible costs for partial reimbursement through the grant.

Additional eligible supporting work includes but is not limited to:

  • Installing on-site renewable energy generation and/or storage systems
  • Upgrading building electric service and/or electric panels
  • Replacing gas powered appliances (ex: hot water heaters, clothes dryers, kitchen equipment) with electric alternatives
  • Installing building management systems or energy load controls
  • Conducting weatherization or building envelope (ex: façade, doors, windows, insulation) upgrades
  • Installing heat recovery equipment
  • Replacing lighting with more efficient equipment and/or controls

Grant awards will cover 50% of eligible project costs up to a maximum award of $1,000,000 per project (with a minimum award amount of $50,000 per project). Awards will be disbursed to applicants via reimbursement for actual project expenses in two occurrences: when approximately half of eligible hard construction costs are incurred by the applicant and when projects are fully completed.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling, first-come first-served basis. Grant awards will be calculated based on the quoted costs of the eligible project scope submitted by the Applicant. The Program will not provide reimbursement for costs already incurred prior to application approval.

Eligibility Information/Instructions:

For the initial pilot, proposed projects must be located in commercial building spaces within the municipalities of Newark, Edison, and Atlantic City.

Commercial building spaces are defined per a select list of Occupancy classes as defined by Chapter 3 of the current version of New Jersey Building Code. This includes Mercantile Group M (i.e., retail stores), Assembly Group A-2 (i.e., restaurants, bars, nightclubs, etc.), and Business Group B (i.e., banks, barber/beauty shops, professional services offices, etc.). Uses listed in New Jersey Building Code under Business Group B that will be excluded from pilot eligibility are airport traffic control towers, buildings used for civic administration, educational purposes above the 12th grade, and post offices.

Please note, improvements (such as façade replacement, rooftop solar panel installations, or central HVAC equipment replacement) that may also result in emissions/energy reduction benefits to other building occupancy uses within a building in addition to the primary targeted Group M, A-2, or B occupied spaces are eligible for grant reimbursement.

Applications must include a projection of greenhouse gas emissions reductions achieved via the construction. Projections are to be calculated by a qualified professional per guidance provided.

Prior to formal notice of the maximum potential grant award and project commencement, the Applicant must provide proof of funding to NJEDA for estimated project costs plus an additional 15% of overall project costs as contingency to allow for potential cost overruns that may arise during construction. NJEDA grant awards will not be adjusted following notice of application approval and the Applicant will be responsible for any additional or unexpected project costs, even if cost increases are related to the eligible project scope.


Prevailing Wage, Affirmative Action, Contractor Registration

Please be aware that construction activities under the NJ Cool Pilot Program are subject to New Jersey Contractor Registration, prevailing wage, and affirmative action requirements.

Projects utilizing financial assistance for construction related costs that total $2,000 or more are subject to state prevailing wage requirements. During the eligibility period, each worker shall be paid not less than the prevailing wage rate for the worker’s craft or trade, as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to P.L. 1963, c. 150 (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.25 et seq.) and P.L.2005, c. 379 (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.58 et seq.).

Effective April 1, 2020, contractors and subcontractors for construction contracts that require payment of prevailing wage must provide proof of registration under the Public Works Contractor Registration Act (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.48 et seq.) The Act does not require proof of registration for such contracts that were awarded prior to April 1, 2020. Information regarding this Act can be found on the NJ Department of Labor’s Website.

For projects receiving financial assistance, any contractor or subcontractor hired for construction work and having a total company workforce of four (4) or more employees must provide documentation demonstrating their good faith efforts to employ minority and women workers in each construction trade. This effort should be consistent with the applicable county employment goals established in accordance with N.J.A.C. 17:27-7.2 and align with the affirmative action requirements outlined in N.J.A.C. 19:30-3.5.

If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact the NJ Cool Project team at njcool@njeda.gov before submitting this application. By submitting an application, you are agreeing to the following statements:

Language Assistance:

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