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RFA for the RiverSmart Homes Rain Barrel Installation and Rebate Program

Friday, August 7, 2015


Grants for the RiverSmart Homes Rain Barrel Installation and Rebate Program

The District Department of the Environment (“DDOE”) is seeking eligible entities, as defined below, to encourage installation of rain barrels on private residential property in the District and strengthen District residents’ understanding of stormwater issues and management.

Beginning 8/7/2015, the full text of the Request for Applications (“RFA”) will be available in the document attached below.  It will also be available for pickup. A person may obtain a copy of this RFA by any of the following means:

  • Download from DDOE’s website,  Select “Resources” tab.  Cursor over the pull-down list; select “Grants and Funding;” then, on the new page, cursor down to the announcement for this RFA. Click on “Read More,” then download and related information from the “attachments” section.
  • Email a request to [email protected] with “Request copy of RFA 2015-1514-WPD” in the subject line;
  • Pick up a copy in person from the DDOE reception desk, located at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.  Call Lauren Linville at (202) 535-2252 to make an appointment and mention this RFA by name; or
  • Write DDOE at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, “Attn: Lauren Linville RE:2015-1514-WPD” on the outside of the letter.

The deadline for application submissions is 9/7/2015, at 4:30 p.m.  Five hard copies must be submitted to the above address and a complete electronic copy must be e-mailed to [email protected]

Eligibility: The institutions listed below may apply for this grant:

  • Nonprofit organizations, including those with IRS 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) determinations;
  • Faith-based organizations;
  • Universities/educational institutions; and

Government agencies and provate enterproses are NOT eligible for this grant.

Available Funding: The amount available for the project in this RFA is approximately $215,000.00. This amount is subject to continuing availability of funding and approval by the appropriate agencies.

For additional information regarding this RFA, please contact DDOE as instructed in the RFA document, at [email protected].  

Quastions & Answers:

Q:  Is the applicant responsible for storing the barrels and finding a location to do that?
A:  Yes, the grantee will be responsible for storing rain barrels and associated parts purchased by DOEE in a secure location that protects against damage or theft.

Q:  Are there any exceptions to the 501c3/4 requirement?
A:  It is not required that the applicant be a 501c3 or 4 organization, but the applicant must be a faith-based organization or a university/educational institution if it is not a non-profit organization.  Only non-profits, faith-based organizations, educational organizations are eligible to apply.

Q:  Is a fiscal agency through a non-profit an allowed arrangement with an organization that does not yet have tax-exempt status?
A:  Yes.

Q:  Are you taking expression of interest for subcontracting/installing or is that arranged directly with the grant awardee?
A:  DOEE recommends making arrangements to subcontract or install directly with other organizations, although DOEE will pass along expressions of interest in subcontracting/installing if organizations are not able to do so directly.

Q:  Monday is considered a holiday and on the website and documents the deadline date is 9/7/15 at 4:30 p.m.  Is that date the official deadline?
A:  DOEE recognizes Labor Day as a national holiday. The DOEE office will be closed on Monday, September 7.  DOEE will accept print applications until 12 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8 provided that an electronic copy has been sent to [email protected] by Monday, September 7 at 4:30 p.m.


Q: Is DOEE looking for multiple organizations to serve as installers?
A: Applications that propose contracting with multiple groups to install rain barrels are welcome, as well as applications that propose directly hiring staff to install rain barrels.

Q: Are homeowners eligible to receive rain barrels through the rain barrel program?
A: Yes, homeowners are eligible to receive rain barrel through RiverSmart Homes and RiverSmart Rewards.  More information about participating in those programs is available at:

Q: Are homeowners eligible to apply to the RFA to facilitate rain barrel installations?
A:  No, only non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, and universities/educational institutions are eligible to apply to the RFA.

Q: Is this solely an RFA for non-profit/faith-based/university participants?
A:  Yes, the lead applicant must be a non-profit organization, faith-based organization, or university/educational institution to be eligible; however, partnerships between eligible applicants and private enterprises and government agencies to complete grant activities are permissible.

Q: Are you looking for a single vendor to serve the entire District, or multiple vendors focusing on specific areas of the District?

A: The grant will be awarded to one entity, which can sub-award to other organizations by splitting it up or working with multiple entities in one approach.


Q: Does the $215,000 grant cover the purchase of rain barrels?

A: No, DOEE purchases the rain barrels and provides them to the grantee.


Q: Who would pay for materials and supplies costs for an installation? Where do I get the supplies for the installation?

A: DOEE provides the barrel and attachments in a kit, but tools, cinder blocks, downspouts, and other materials (screws, nails, shims, etc.)  are not supplied by DOEE.


Q: Does DOEE provide a list of interested homeowners to the grantee?

A: Yes.


Q: Does DOEE complete the site audits?

A: Yes.


Q: Who is considered a private enterprise or private entity?

A: A for-profit company or contractor without 501(c)(3) status.


Q: Can you provide more details about the rebate amounts and criteria?

A: $1 per gallon, barrel must be elevated, valve must be 3” from bottom of barrel, inlet must be screened, barrel must have an overflow mechanism that is at least 2” in diameter.


Q: What is the maximum rebate for a rain barrel?

A: $500 or two rebates, per property.


Q: Would the rain barrels arrive at the storage facility or would the grantee pick up and transport the barrels?

A: It is dependent upon the grantee's capacity and DOEE's contact with the rain barrel supplier.


Q: Are the rebate funds taken from the $215,000?

A: Yes.


Q: Please provide clarification regarding the $45 copayment rain barrels and the rebate.

A: They are two different programs: each property is eligible for up to two 132-gallon RiverSides rain barrels, installed for them, for a $45 copay and rebates ($1 per gallon) for up to an additional two rain barrels (maximum $500).


Q: Is the grantee responsible for advertising the rebate program?

A: Yes. DOEE provides install lists for copayment rain barrels, but the rebate program is advertised by the grantee.


Q: How much of the grant amount is dedicated to the rebate program?

A: The grantee is expected to decide how much of the grant funding to dedicate to rebates as a part of their proposal.


Q: Does the grantee need to be DC-based?

A: No.


Q: How long is turnover for reimbursement for the invoices submitted to DOEE by the grantee?

A:  Under the District of Columbia Quick Payment Act, DOEE is required to pay invoices within 30 days.


Q: Is renting a storage facility to house the barrels an acceptable expense under the grant?

A: Yes.


Q: Is this an opportunity only for non-profit organizations?

A: No. Non-profits, faith-based organizations, educational organizations are all eligible.


Q: How do municipalities apply? Are municipalities eligible?

A: No, government agencies are not eligible. An eligible applicant needs to be the lead, but can partner with other organizations. 


Q:  Is it possible for the grantee to work with subcontractors to install rain barrels in the same way that RiverSmart Homes landscaping projects are installed by subcontractors?
A:  Yes, DOEE is open to that type of approach in proposals.


Q: What type of non-profits are eligible for the grant?
A:  Any non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status is eligible to apply.