CPRG Assistance Project

The CPRG Assistance Project is a collaboration of several organizations to provide free support to help MSA Leads navigate the CPRG program. This includes technical assistance on analysis requirements, program design, and implementation grants, in addition to peer sharing opportunities and general troubleshooting. See the events list and tool and resource library below for more information.

The following organizations are collaborating to provide this assistance:

For questions related to this effort, please contact Julia Peek, juliapeek@usdn.org. 

Our Program Offerings

Request Direct Assistance

Use this link to fill out a CPRG direct assistance request. Our team will then contact you to set up an initial 30 minute intake call to organize next steps to support your efforts.

Click here for an overview of the types of direct assistance we offer.

Upcoming Trainings and Office Hours

(View past meeting recordings and slides)

Weekly Open Office Hours - every Wednesday at 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET, through March 27.

Meet with Collective Strategies Consulting to discuss any questions you have about the CPRG planning process or implementation grant.

Templates and Worksheets

This section includes templates and other tools to help guide and support your CPRG planning process and implementation grant development. 

Menu of Measures – Created for states by the Conveners Network, this list of example GHG reduction measures can be searched by Sector, Measure Type or Approach. Each measures includes descriptions and implementation examples where possible as well as a list of related federal funding streams. MSA staff can use this tool to explore measure ideas and examples and to support your work to identify relevant non-CPRG federal funding opportunities related to your GHG reduction measures.

PCAP Template for MSAs - created for MSAs by the Conveners Network, this template clarifies which sections of the PCAP are required or optional, provides sample text and tables as well as tips and resources for completing each section.

GHG Measure Prioritization Spreadsheet - Use this spreadsheet to help prioritize multiple GHG reduction measure ideas based on the CPRG NOFO criteria.

CPRG Grant Requirements Info Sheet

CPRG Implementation Grant Narrative Guide - This document condenses the application requirements, structure, points, and EPA reference documents from the NOFO in one place. Use this to start populating parts of your grant application as soon as possible. Download the complete Word version with budget item comments. 

EPA CPRG Implementation Grant Timeline - Use this template to plan your grant writing schedule, check in meetings and to assign team members to specific tasks.

CPRG Grant Implementation Roles Template – Use this template to help you design your coalition or non-coalition application partnership structure.

CPRG Grant Review Rubric
Use this Grant Review Rubric as you are drafting your proposal to ensure you are meeting all of EPA’s criteria for a competitive CPRG proposal.

EPA Guidance to Navigate the Grant Submission Process
Quick Start Guide for applicants to help you register and apply for grants using Grants.gov.
Training Videos and Resources on specific topics for Grants.gov

OPTIONAL EPA CPRG Budget Spreadsheet – You can find this Budget Spreadsheet within the Related Documents tab in the CPRG notice in grants.gov. This is a spreadsheet from EPA for you to tailor to your measures and use to help organize your budget; you may edit it however you wish (change colors, add subtabs/additional lines, etc.), as long as you maintain the same federal cost categories and keep the information consistent throughout other parts of the application (e.g., workplan and required forms). It is optional to submit with your application, but if you do include it, delete excess information – initial tab with instructions, extraneous lines, sample tabs at the end, to keep it clear for reviewers.

CPRG Tool and Resource Library

This is a “living” library of tools and resources for MSA Leads to help support your efforts through each component of the CPRG process. We will continue to update and add to this list as we discover and develop new resources, models, case studies and other tools. If you have a suggested addition for this list that your MSA colleagues could benefit from please contact Aleka Seville at aleka@collectivestrat.com.

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CPRG Component - Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP)

Preliminary GHG Inventory

Local GHG Inventory Tool 
Created by EPA, this is an interactive spreadsheet tool that calculates GHG emissions for many sectors, including residential, commercial, transportation, and waste and wastewater management. 

How to use this tool: 
EPA created a one hour webinar that begins with Inventory 101: why and how to do a GHG inventory, and discusses key nuances to consider. This is followed by an overview and demonstration of the tool, and a question and answer session. Enter your contact information on this page to download the tool. 

U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of GHG Emissions 
ICLEI developed the Community Protocol for community-scale GHG inventories with detailed methods tailored to the needs and data availability of US local governments. The protocol was updated in 2019, adding guidance on accounting for emissions and removal of carbon from the atmosphere due to forests and trees.

How to use this tool: 
Enter your contact information on this page to download the protocol, a detailed technical document with cutting-edge methodologies and best practices to help local governments measure and report the emissions associated with their communities. The U.S. Community Protocol is structured as a folder with a main document that includes the core guidance and two appendices. An additional seven detailed accounting appendices and a Scoping and Reporting Tool are included as separate documents in the folder.


Developed by ICLEI, ClearPath is an online software platform designed to complete GHG inventories, forecasts, climate action plans and monitoring at the community-wide or government operations scales. Guides users through a step by step process to create a GHG emissions inventory and forecast model. 

How to use this tool:
Introductory video available here. ICLEI members receive free access to ClearPath along with dedicated technical assistance and an in-depth library of ClearPath trainings.

City Inventory Reporting and Information System (CIRIS) 

The City Inventory Reporting and Information System (CIRIS) is an easy-to-use, Excel-based GHG emission inventory tool that allows cities to input and manage emissions data, as well as the additional information required for public reporting. CIRIS facilitates the transparent and standardized calculation of emissions for all sectors based on the GPC standard.

How to use the tool:
Read the user guide and watch these tutorial videos to understanding how to use CIRIS. The tool is available to download in English, Spanish and French.

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PCAP - Quantified GHG Reduction Measures


AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) 

Created by EPA, AVERT evaluates how energy policies and programs such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electric vehicles lead to changes in emissions of particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ammonia (NH3) from electric power plants at a county, state, or regional level. AVERT is a free tool designed to meet the needs of state air quality planners, energy officials, public utility commission staff, environmental agency staff, professionals in the clean energy field, people working on climate planning, and other interested stakeholders. AVERT splits the contiguous 48 states into 14 independent electricity regions. AVERT regions are organized by one or more balancing authorities. Select a region for analysis by either using the dropdown menus or clicking the map. Selecting a region loads the fossil fuel power plants operating within each region and region-specific wind and solar capacity data.

How to use this tool:
EPA developed a user manual, tutorial and step-by-step instructions about how to use the Excel version of AVERT. You can download the Excel version here.



ATHENIA is Greenlink’s flagship energy modeling platform that serves as the electricity grid’s “digital twin”, providing a detailed look into how energy systems respond to the changing nature of the grid-level supply and demand. Through machine learning and other statistical methods, ATHENIA can forecast the grid’s hourly behavior accounting for costs of electricity generation and regional trends. ATHENIA is used to analyze the future impacts of policy decisions and new grid-level investments across all sorts of clean energy scenarios. 

ATHENIA has been awarded and recognized for its accuracy by MIT, Georgia Tech, the NSF, and others. The Greenlink Data Science team has been working diligently to produce forecasts with nationwide coverage that account for all approved utility plans, making it the most accurate and representative forecast available anywhere in the US. Having accurate, hourly forecasts will provide communities better insights to selecting the best pathways to reducing their carbon emissions and increasing equitable outcomes. This data is useful for creating well-informed Priority Climate Action Plans and Comprehensive Climate Action Plans.

How to use this tool: 
Greenlink will provide trainings on the proper use of ATHENIA’s data as well as carbon intensity forecasts from ATHENIA for participating MSAs to use in evaluating their strategies and preparing their plans. Please check our list of events for upcoming and recorded trainings.


The Energy Savings and Impacts Scenario Tool (ESIST) 

ESIST Version 1.1 is a customizable and transparent Excel-based planning tool for analyzing the energy savings and costs from customer funded energy efficiency programs and their impacts on emissions, public health, and equity. ESIST enables users to develop, explore, and share energy efficiency scenarios between 2010 and 2040. ESIST users first select a study area based on states, utility types, specific utilities, or difference customer sectors within a utility.4 Users can adjust inputs, including electricity sales growth forecasts, energy efficiency savings goals, program budgets, savings expiration schedules, discount rates, and first-year costs.5 The tool allows users to compare levels of energy efficiency savings, annual costs, and levelized costs of saved energy. ESIST users can then estimate multiple benefits that could result from the energy efficiency scenario—including avoided emissions, public health benefits, peak demand impacts, and energy burden reductions—and review customer demographic data. ESIST combines several publicly available and peer-reviewed data sets to support analyses that would otherwise be significantly more time-consuming and resource-intensive. It also provides users with the flexibility to rely on default values or to customize input assumptions, allowing policymakers, practitioners, and others to use ESIST as a comprehensive tool for generating scenarios and informing decision-making. ESIST can be used by itself or in tandem with other tools and analyses for further exploration of results.  

How to use this tool: 
EPA developed a detailed user manual that includes step by step instructions for using the ESIST tool. You can download the excel ESIST tool here.

BEI Resources on Building Electrification 

This website hosts resources developed by the Building Electrification Institute (BEI) for local governments, including resources developed for specific cities such as building and housing stock analyses, customer economics analyses for building electrification, and assessments of funding gaps. These resources may be useful as examples for other local and regional governments as they are planning to develop equitable building electrification programs and policies. 

How to use these resources: 
BEI will provide trainings on some of these resources.  Please check our calendar of events for upcoming and recorded trainings.

Environmental Insights Explorer

Google has produced estimates of building square footage and emissions for many areas of the country, using their Google Maps data. This information can be useful in establishing baseline estimates for energy use, the size of the building footprint, and some basic emissions information.

How to access this tool:
Greenlink will facilitate access for participating MSAs, providing a training on the available data and its proper use. Please check our calendar of events for upcoming and recorded trainings.


EPA recommends using their MOVES tool to help estimate GHG emissions from mobile sources and integrating that with their TEAM method to estimate potential future emissions reductions from combinations of Travel Efficiency strategies.

EPA Motor Vehicle Simulator (MOVES)

Emission modeling system that can be used to estimate emissions for mobile sources at the national, county and project level for GHGs, criteria air pollutants and air toxics. MOVES can also estimate energy consumption.

How to use this tool: 
Users need download the tool from this page. EPA has presented various webinars and training courses to assist users with MOVES software and inputs. Materials from these training sessions are available here.

MOVES does not have a stand-alone user guide. User help information is integrated into the model itself. You can also refer to the MOVES4 Technical Guidance: Using MOVES to Prepare Emissions Inventories for State Implementation Plans and Transportation Conformity. 

Travel Efficiency Assessment Method (TEAM)

EPA developed TEAM which is a method that uses transportation sketch modeling, available travel activity datasets and EPA’s MOVES emissions model to estimate potential future emissions reductions from combinations of Travel Efficiency strategies. EPA created this fact sheet which provides an overview of the body of TEAM work completed to date and includes twelve case studies and a national assessment.

How to use this method: 
Team User Guide which includes TEAM step by step approach: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P101358W.pdf

Slides from TEAM user guide training webinar: https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2022-08/team-user-guide-training-webinar-2022-08-17_0.pdf

Fact sheet provides overview of the body of TEAM work completed to date and includes twelve case studies and a national assessment.

Environmental Insights Explorer - Transportation

Google has produced estimates of travel modes and transportation-related emissions for many areas of the country, using their Google Maps data, regarded as some of the best data available. This information can be useful in establishing baseline estimates for energy use, travel patterns, and emissions information.

How to access this tool:
Greenlink will facilitate access for participating MSAs, providing a training on the available data and its proper use. Please check our list of events for upcoming and recorded trainings. 


Waste Reduction Model (WARM)

EPA created this Waste Reduction Model tool that provides high-level estimates of potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, energy savings, and economic impacts from several different waste management practices. WARM estimates these impacts from baseline and alternative waste management practices—source reduction, recycling, anaerobic digestion, combustion, composting and landfilling.

How to use this tool:
Users can download the current version of WARM here (version 15), which matches the corresponding Excel version of WARM

Policy and Program Impact Estimator – A Materials Recovery GHG Calculator for Communities

EPA developed a calculator that expands the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) framework to include a community's existing waste stream and policy and program options. This Excel spreadsheet calculator is designed to help municipalities, counties, and tribes estimate reductions in life cycle GHGs from implementing new or expanded solid waste policies and programs in their communities. Using EPA’s WARM version 14 emissions factors, the calculator generates projected results for annual and accumulative tons of waste diverted and GHGs reduced over a 10-year planning timeframe. The results can inform comparisons of the estimated GHG impact from implementing different policies and programs, consistent with user-entered assumptions.Materials addressed by the calculator include metal, glass, plastic, paper, wood, food waste, yard trimmings, and various construction and demolition debris materials. The calculator may also serve to familiarize users with what type of local solid waste data is needed to estimate GHG reductions from recycling and composting programs.

How to use this tool: 
You can download the policy and program impact estimator in Excel here. EPA also prepared a scenario using hypothetical data which you can download here

Workforce - Energy 

EDI Model

Greenlink uses this tool to estimate net jobs associated with clean energy actions for cities.  Cities can help customize this calculator to determine how various measures like deep energy retrofits, electrifying commercial buildings, or deploying more electric vehicle charging infrastructure would be expected to impact local jobs. In addition, other calculator outputs include type and quality of jobs, costs of these measures, and energy reductions. This tool is derived from IMPLAN macroeconomic modeling and uses geographically relevant inputs combined with national building, economic, and clean energy data. This information is critical for creating and preparing well-informed workforce development plans.

How to use this tool: 
Greenlink will provide geography-specific, standardized tabular data outputs from the model, showing the employment and income impacts of different clean energy resources that MSAs can pursue. Greenlink will provide training on the proper use of the data for participating MSAs to use in evaluating their strategies and preparing their plans. Please check our list of events for upcoming and recorded trainings.

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PCAP - LIDAC Benefits Analysis

EPA Guidance for CPRG Grantees on LIDAC Benefits Analysis 

This document provides information on the minimum requirements for states, municipalities, and air pollution control agencies to meet EPA’s expectations for the CPRG Planning Grants for the LIDAC Benefits Analysis. The steps to perform this analysis include identifying low-income and disadvantaged communities, engaging with the identified communities to understand community priorities, and estimating potential benefits of GHG emission reduction measures to the identified communities. 

Technical reference document for States, Municipalities and Air Pollution Control Agencies - Benefits Analysis: Low Income and Disadvantaged Communities

EPA strongly encourages grantees to use the CEJST tool to identify low-income and disadvantaged communities in the development of PCAPs and CCAPs. EPA also encourages grantees to use the Supplemental Indices in EJScreen to better inform the identification of communities in their jurisdiction. If additional tools or data are used to identify LIDACs, grantees should include a comparison of identified Census tracts with CEJST to determine if there is overlap between the two methods and build better awareness of LIDACs when planning engagement activities and policy design.  

Required EPA Tools to Complete LIDAC Benefits Analysis

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST)

CEJST is an interactive map that uses various indicators to identify communities that are experiencing burdens across eight categories: climate change, energy, health, housing, legacy pollution, transportation, water and wastewater, and workforce development. EPA classifies communities experiencing these burdens as overburdened and underserved. The tool shows these burdens in census tracts using boundaries from 2010. A community is considered to be disadvantaged if they are in census tracts that meet the thresholds for at least one of the tool’s categories of burden, at or above the threshold for an associated socioeconomic burden, or are on land within the boundaries of Federally Recognized Tribes. In addition, a census tract that is completely surrounded by disadvantaged communities and is at or above the 50th percentile for low income is also considered disadvantaged. 

More information about the specific indicators used in each burden category can be found on the CEJST tool’s Methodology page. 

How to use the tool: 
EPA provides a CEJST Version 1.0 Tutorial. The tool is available for download in multiple file formats and there is a Technical Support document that provides more detail on specific datasets used in the tool. 

EJScreen: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool 

EJ Screen allows users to access high-resolution environmental and demographic information for locations in the United States and compare their selected locations to the rest of the state, EPA region or the nation. The tool can help users identify areas with people of color and low income populations, potential environmental quality issues, and/or a combination of environmental and demographic indicators that is greater than usual. 

How to use the tool:
EPA provides a User Guide for EJScreen and a series of short tutorial videos on the basic EJScreen functionality. More information on EPA’s regular training and office hours to help users better understand the tool can be found here.

*Note from EPA: Screening tools should be used for a “screening level” look. Screening is a useful first step in understanding or highlighting locations that may be candidates for further review. However, it is essential to remember that screening-level results do not by themselves determine the existence or absence of environmental justice concerns in a given location, do not provide a risk assessment and have other significant limitations. 

Additional Tools to Support your LIDAC Benefits Analysis

Greenlink Equity Map

The Greenlink Equity Map (GEM) is an online map designed to help organizations visualize equity-related issues down to the census tract scale so they can see how burdens are distributed across their communities. The platform provides over 45 equity indicators demanded by local governments and community-based organizations, providing critical data resources to build strong city-community partnerships, and building more equitable climate solutions. There are currently over 650 members using the platform advising the deployment of over $250 million in energy equity programming nationwide. GEM allows participants to see geographically how their community is impacted and who it’s impacting the most, providing insight into where to focus their efforts to increase equitable outcomes. GEM can serve as a valuable supplement to CEJST in developing Low Income and Disadvantaged Communities plans and strategies.

How to use the tool: 
Greenlink will provide 1 year of GEM access for all participating MSAs. Greenlink will provide training on the proper use of the data for participating MSAs to use in evaluating their strategies and preparing their plans. Please check our list of events for upcoming and recorded trainings.

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PCAP - Public and Stakeholder Engagement Approach

This resource list will be posted in the future.

PCAP - LIDAC Engagement Approach

The Spectrum of Community Engagement to Ownership 

The Spectrum of Community Engagement to Ownership is a guide that charts a pathway to strengthen and transform our local democracies.  Thriving, diverse, equitable communities are possible through deep participation, particularly by communities commonly excluded from democratic voice and power. Leaders across multiple sectors, such as community-based organizations, local governments, philanthropic partners, and facilitative leaders trusted by communities, can use this spectrum to assess and revolutionize community engagement efforts to advance community-driven solutions. 

This tool was developed by Rosa González of Facilitating Power, in part drawing on content from a number of public participation tools, including Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation, and the Public Participation Spectrum created by the International Association for Public Participation.  The contents have been piloted with municipal community-centered committees for racial equity and environmental justice at the cities of Portland Washington, Providence Rhode Island, Seattle Washington, and Washington DC; and with the Building Healthy Communities Initiative in Salinas, California, and developed in partnership with Movement Strategy Center.

How to use this tool: 
The guide includes sections on how to use the Spectrum as a tool for assessment, policy development, community campaign development and for assessing projects, programs, and campaigns. 

Equitable Approaches to Building Electrification 

This resource provides an overview of how to design an equitable process for developing building electrification programs and policies. The resource defines what is meant by “equitable building electrification,” outlines three key steps that governments should take in their process to develop program and policy solutions and provides examples that have been implemented by local governments of each step. 

The resource was developed by the Building Electrification Institute (BEI), works with leading cities across the country to equitably electrify their buildings, and the steps outlined in this resource have been piloted in BEI’s partner cities. 

How to use this tool:
MSAs and their partners can engage with this resource when considering how to design a new building electrification program or policy and/or when considering how to expand and improve an existing building electrification program or policy. BEI is providing multiple trainings to support MSA Leads in integrating the approaches outlined in this tool into your CPRG planning process. Please check our list of upcoming meetings and trainings for more information.

Process Guide for City-Community Collaboration

Collaboration between local government and communities impacted by inequities are key to transformative climate and equity outcomes. Governments that invest in community partnerships and participatory planning have a greater capacity for practical climate solutions than places where partnerships do not exist. To prepare for and address the impacts of the climate crisis, government staff and leaders from frontline communities must build strong working relationships.

This guide offers a set of guideposts to support staff in designing and implementing inclusive processes for shared analysis based on the equity data provided in the Greenlink Equity Map (GEM) (and potentially additional data as well) through collaboration with community partners. Engaging with impacted communities is key to 1) understanding the stories behind the data patterns the maps provide, 2) unlocking the insights and capacity needed to identify and implement genuine solutions to equity gaps and effective climate action, and 3) determining effective means by which to share the data with the larger population. This resource builds on the Spectrum of Community Engagement to Ownership and was co-developed Rosa Gonzalez and Minna Toloui with contributions from national team of practitioners with deep backgrounds in city government, community organizing, participatory action research, energy policy, facilitation, and climate justice action.

How to use this tool:
This guide is intended to be used by city staff in tandem with GEM and to be of use to staff working on policies connected to and influenced by the data shown in the maps. The guide is broken down into four main phases of the data sharing and analysis process: framing, preparation for collaborative data analysis, conducting collaborative data analysis, and follow-through for sustained action. The Guide can be used as a standalone resource. Greenlink will provide assistance and training upon request for participating MSAs.

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Other Resources

Action Selection and Prioritization (ASAP) tool 

This Action Selection and Prioritization (ASAP) tool is designed to support cities, which have already developed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and emissions scenarios, to select and prioritize climate actions, through a comparison of benefits and challenges. ASAP is an Excel-based tool that documents action information and provides graphic outputs to support the decision-making process. It is designed to support the process of decision making – it does not dictate what those decisions should be.

How to use this tool: 
C40 developed a user guide for the ASAP Tool Version 1 which includes step by step instructions and an FAQ. In addition to the user manual, a detailed Process Guide explains more about the background and context for action prioritization, the stakeholders who should be involved, and the elements included within the eight steps. The process guide is available in English, SpanishFrench and Portuguese. There is also a Facilitation Guide designed to provide advice on how to facilitate exercises during three recommended stakeholder workshops on criteria selection and weighting, action rating and final prioritization, as part of the action selection process. Case studies of three international cities highlight how they used the ASAP tool in their climate action planning process. You can download the Excel ASAP tool here.

Example RFPs from MSAs who have secured consultant support for various CPRG components

RFP from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in San Francisco, CA for engagement support. This RFP is for support for both the PCAP and CCAP and is asking for consultants to both summarize previous engagement efforts and develop the LIDAC Benefits Analysis (PCAP) and to co-create and execute a meaningful stakeholder engagement approach for the CCAP.

Ventura County, CA developed an RFI which asked for support for key elements of the PCAP.. 

Puget Sound, WA released a RFP requesting facilitation services and support to develop a stakeholder engagement strategy. 

Central Pines Regional Council, Durham, NC released an RFP for outreach and engagement support. 

RFP from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in San Francisco, CA for technical support for both the PCAP and the CCAP including quantifying GHG emission reductions and estimating costs for implementing GHG reduction measures. 

Recommendations from Forth Mobility on integrating equitable transportation electrification into federal grant applications

Forth Mobility’s mission is to electrify transportation by bringing people together to create solutions that reduce pollution and barriers to access. This blog post includes Forth’s recommendations for priority transportation electrification measures that governments should consider including in plans and funding through federal implementation grants.

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