Frequently Asked Questions

Find information on some of GEFA's most popular programs and initiatives.

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Georgia Land Conservation Program

How do I put my land into conservation?

There are two main types of land conservation - permanent and non-permanent.

The Georgia Land Conservation Program (GLCP) assists landowners seeking permanent conservation options for their properties, including fee-title donations, conservation easements, and associated tax credits. Contact Steven Nawrocki for more information.

Can I get paid to protect my land?

Yes. Georgia provides tax credits to easement donors that meet state requirements and are approved by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State Properties Commission (SPC). Tax credit recipients may then sell or transfer their tax credits for cash. Landowners may also sell their land to, or otherwise work with, local governments, state agencies, and other qualified organizations.

What financing does the GLCP offer?

  • Grants for fee title or conservation easement purchases to state agencies from the Georgia Land Conservation Trust Fund.
  • Low-interest loans for fee title or conservation easement purchases from the Georgia Land Conservation Revolving Loan Fund.
  • State income tax credits for donations of conservation lands or conservation easements.

How can GLCP grant and loan funds be used?

All direct costs of activities required to permanently protect approved conservation lands can be funded as part of a successful grant or loan application, including:

  • Purchase price, if any;
  • Required due diligence, such as appraisals, surveys, phase 1 environmental site assessments, and title insurance commitments; and
  • Other fees for services, provided, that said fees are consistent with O.C.G.A. §43-40 and O.C.G.A. §12-6A-2(6). The GLCP encourages projects with passive recreational uses, but does not fund the acquisition of land for, or the development of, more intensive recreational areas such as ballfields, playgrounds, or public parking areas. The GLCP does not fund staff time or positions related to project acquisition.

Who can apply for GLCP funds?

All cities and counties, regardless of size, within the state of Georgia are eligible to apply for grants and loans from the GLCP. Local governments must be in compliance with the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Audits and Accounts. Some state agencies (DNR, Georgia Forestry and the Soil & Water Conservation Commission) may also submit grant applications for permanent land conservation projects. Additionally, state authorities and non-profit conservation organizations may submit applications for low-interest loans. Private landowners and landowning entities with Georgia state income tax liability may apply for conservation tax credits.

For more information on the GLCP, visit the website.

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Water Resources Division

Which loan program would be best for me?

GEFA provides a variety of funding options for local governments and their water, sewer, and solid waste infrastructure improvement projects. See the Water Resources Division page for more program information or contact the Water Resource Division staff for more information.

Can I apply for a loan anytime?

GEFA accepts loan applications year-round on a rolling basis. Once a loan application is submitted, GEFA staff will provide an estimate of when it will reach the GEFA board of directors for review and approval. Click on the links below to review the application process for GEFA’s loan programs:

Are grant funds available through GEFA? If not, where can I obtain grant funding?

GEFA doesn’t offer grant funds; however, the federal loan programs may provide a limited amount of principal forgiveness, where a portion of the loan may be forgiven, for qualifying communities. For information on grant fund resources, visit this link: Georgia Water and Wastewater Funding Sources.

How long is the federal State Revolving Fund process? How long is the approval process for other types of loans through GEFA?

The length of time needed for the federal process varies. Simple projects can complete the necessary environmental review process and complete the loan approval process in three to four months, while more complex projects may take longer. For other types of GEFA funding, the approval process can take between 60 to 75 days. Click here to contact a GEFA staff member for additional information on a specific project.

Our community has received a WaterFirst designation; which funding program is the most appropriate for our community?

GEFA offers a 1 percent interest rate reduction for WaterFirst communities through the state-funded loan programs (the Georgia Fund and the Georgia Reservoir and Water Supply Fund) only. With this 1 percent interest rate reduction, the state programs and the State Revolving Fund programs offer the same interest rate and terms. WaterFirst communities should request a state-funded loan, which eliminates the additional paperwork required under the federal State Revolving Fund program to receive the same interest rate benefit.

Can water and sewer authorities obtain loans through GEFA?

Yes. GEFA provides loans to water and sewer authorities. The water and sewer authorities must receive a full faith and credit pledge of taxation from a local government with taxing power.

Alternative funding terms for water and sewer authority loans will be reviewed at GEFA’s discretion if a water and sewer authority is denied the full faith and credit backing of a local government with taxing power.

Can my project receive additional funding for extra work during the project construction?

Yes, GEFA often approves loan increases. The borrower will have to apply for funding above what was initially approved by the GEFA board of directors.

Is there a penalty for loan prepayment?


Can I refinance my GEFA debt? Can GEFA refinance other water and sewer debt?

GEFA only refinances existing GEFA loans according to the specific criteria described in the various loan fund policies. Also, GEFA only refinances existing outside water and sewer debt according to the specific criteria described in the various loan fund policies.

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Energy Resources Division

State Energy Program

I want to install an energy efficient appliance/equipment in my home, are there any rebates/incentives?

Financial incentives can be available for the purchase and installation of energy efficient appliances and equipment for homes and buildings. To see what is offered in your area, please go to the
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website.

What financing options are available for energy efficiency work such as retrofits/renewable energy for local governments and nonprofit organizations?

Local governments and nonprofit organizations can self-finance energy efficiency projects or pursue non-traditional financing options, such as Energy Performance Contracting. Additionally, both sectors should contact their local gas and electric utility providers for an overview of additional finance opportunities.

Nonprofit organizations in the metro area can receive free energy audits through Grants to Green. For additional information on other financing options, visit the DSIRE website.

I want to install an energy-efficient appliance/equipment in my home, are there any rebates/incentives?

Visit the DSIRE website for more information.

Does GEFA have any grants available for energy companies that want to establish an office in Georgia or for entrepreneurs that want to create energy companies in Georgia?

GEFA does not have grants or financing for this type of work. These organizations should contact the Center for Innovation in Energy for more information.

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State Utilities Program (SUP)

What resources are available for state agencies to save energy?

GEFA staff is available to provide technical assistance to other state agencies. Click here for contact information.

What is an Energy Performance Contract?

Click here for more information on Energy Performance Contracting.

What can the state do to help local governments with performance contracting?

Click here for more information on Energy Performance Contracting. Local governments can conduct procurements using a prequalified list of approved energy services companies created and approved by GEFA. Also, approved legal documents for Requests for Proposals (RFP), Investment Grade Audit Agreements (IGA), and the Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contract are available for use. On a limited basis, the state can provide some technical advice to local governments.

How do companies get on the prequalification list?

GEFA recently conducted a competitive Request for Qualifications to establish the performance contracting prequalified list. At this time, we do not expect to amend the list before 2015. However, GEFA has the discretion of amending the list at any time. Click here to view the current list.

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Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

What is the Weatherization Assistance Program and how can it help me?

Click here to learn more about the Weatherization Assistance Program.

How do I apply for Weatherization Assistance?

Contact the local agency that serves your county to apply for weatherization assistance. Click here to learn which agency serves your area.

How do I get assistance with paying my heating bill?

Click here for more information on energy bill assistance.

I applied for Weatherization over two months ago, but haven’t heard back from the local agency. How long will it take for my home to be weatherized?

Please contact the local agency in your county for information on application status and any possible waiting lists.

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