- Assets: $62,382,242 (2017)
- Grants Received: $109,864,130 (2017)
- Grants Awarded: $78,560,093 (2017)
Working to “promote the transition to a sustainable energy future by advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy,” the Energy Foundation (EF) began as a project of the Trust For Public Land. Its original $20 million endowment in 1991 came jointly from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Mertz Gilmore Foundation joined that trio as a funding partner in 1996, as did the McKnight Foundation in 1998, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 1999, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2002.
Today, EF’s partners include the Packard and Hewlett Foundations from the list above, along with the “hacktivist)” group Anonymous, the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Grantham Foundation, the Grousbeck Family Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Pisces Foundation, the Robertson Foundation, the Schmidt Family Foundation, the Tilia Fund, the TomKat Trust, and the TOSA Foundation.
Focusing its philanthropy chiefly on the United States and China—because of their status as “the largest and fastest-growing energy markets in the world”—EF administers five major grant-making programs:
(a) The Power Program “works to reduce carbon emissions from the electric and gas utility industry by advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy and by reducing power generation from conventional coal-fired power plants.”
(b) The Buildings Program “supports policies to increase the efficiency of U.S. homes and businesses and to reduce carbon emissions and utility bills.” Specifically, it calls for enhanced appliance efficiency standards, widespread retrofitting of existing buildings, the adoption of increasingly stringent building codes, and the provision (by government) of “financial incentives to buy and lease energy-efficient buildings.”
(c) The Transportation Program promotes “policies that reduce vehicle global warming pollution and oil consumption”—e.g., heightened mileage and emissions standards coupled with an increase in the use of biofuels.
(d) The Climate Program, citing “the scientific imperative of avoiding dangerous climate change,” aims to “put greenhouse gas emissions on an immediate downward trend and set the U.S. on a trajectory of 80 percent carbon reductions by 2050.” Toward that end, EF advocates cap-and-trade programs that tax carbon emissions.
(e) The China Sustainable Energy Program, launched jointly in March 1999 by the Energy and Packard Foundations, strives to “assist in China’s transition to a sustainable energy future by promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.” Lauding “China’s [governmental] leadership” for having made “energy efficiency” a high-priority “national policy” in recent decades, EF advocates a continuation of “strong government intervention” to prevent China’s energy sector from becoming “dominated by the cheapest resources—coal and oil—which are cheap only to the extent that public health and environmental costs are ignored.”
EF provides financial support for a host of organizations committed to the anti-capitalist agendas of radical environmentalism, which seeks to restrict and/or dismantle the activities of the automobile, coal, gas, electric, nuclear power, construction, and transportation industries. Among the more notable recipients of Energy Foundation grants are: the Apollo Alliance, the Blue Green Alliance Foundation, the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, Democracia USA, the Earth Day Network, the Earth Island Institute, EarthJustice, EarthSave International, the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Media Services, the Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Global Green USA, Green For All, the Greenlining Institute, Greenpeace, the Izaak Walton League of America, the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the National Council of Churches, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy, the New Policy Institute, the Ohio Citizen Action Education Fund, Oxfam America, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Public Citizen Foundation, the Rainforest Action Network, Rock The Vote, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Sierra Club Foundation, the Tides Foundation and Tides Center, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the U.S. Climate Action Network, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, the Wilderness Society, the World Resources Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund.