Grant round closed. Applications were due March 31.

Grants for alternative landscaping equipment

MPCA offered approximately $150,000 in grant funding to replace 2-cycle gasoline-powered landscaping and snow-removal equipment with electric-powered equipment.

Closed: Application deadline was March 31, 2021

  • Eligible applicants: Businesses under 500 employees, governmental agencies, educational institutions, tribes, or nongovernmental organizations (e.g., nonprofit or association) with any number of employees. Equipment used near populations sensitive to air pollution, areas of concern for environmental justice, and communities with higher air pollution will tend to score highest.
  • Maximum grant award: $24,000 with a 50% minimum match.

During evaluation, the MPCA will determine each applicant’s emissions reductions and cost-effectiveness using this tool: File Handheld 2-cycle engine emissions calculator (p-sbap5-36)

Background

Gas-powered landscaping equipment is a significant source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other air emissions, particularly in urban areas. The average gas-powered push mower emits over 14 pounds of air pollution an hour — the same amount as driving your car 200 miles! These pollutants impact the health of equipment operators and the populated communities they serve.

Replacing summer or winter 2-cycle gas-powered equipment with electric-powered eliminates localized air pollution and can have the following benefits:

  • Lighter - Easy to use and carry across distances and multiple locations.
  • Powerful - Equal performance to gas in most applications. Often just a 20-minute charge will last for hours.
  • Saves money - No more buying gas. Also less maintenance and lost productivity from being in the shop or from flooding.
  • Safer for employees - Eliminate engine exhaust, reducing odors and respiratory effects; lessen hearing loss; ease cord-pulling and lifting-related injuries; and prevent burns.
  • Community health - Reduce air pollution in urban areas and lessen noise disruptions

Grant successes

More than $300,000 in grants has already helped over 100 businesses and organizations switch to electric-powered equipment, such as chainsaws, pole pruners, lawn mowers, string or hedge trimmers, and handheld or backpack blowers. These purchases will reduce annual VOC emissions by over 260 tons.

Those interested in future small business grants or loans are encouraged to sign up to be notified when similar types of opportunities are available in the coming year: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/regulations/funding-opportunities