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Energy Improvement at Public School Facilities

  • Granting Agency: Dept. of Energy
  • Appropriation Amount: $500,000,000
  • Grant Amount: TBA
  • Announcement Date: Late November, 2022
  • Closing Date: TBD, 2022/23

See the DOE page for this program for more information on this program, and to follow as the FOA and other materials are released.

This is the main grant program for the Energy Improvements program, Renew America’s Schools. There is also the complimentary, competitive prize designed to fund school districts that establish Energy Manager staff, the Energy CLASS Prize.

Purpose: This potential FOA “Renew America’s Schools” supports the implementation of Section 40541 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides $500 million for grants for energy improvements at public school facilities. DOE aims to facilitate substantial additional investment, prioritize schools with high needs, minimize administrative burden, and build enduring capacity in local educational agencies (LEAs) and the states to maximize impact equitably and efficiently.

 

Focus Areas for Topics
DOE will encourage eligible applicants to consider projects that enable replicable and scalable impacts, create innovative, sustaining partnerships, leverage funding and economies of scale, target disadvantaged communities, improve student, teacher, and occupant health, enrich learning and growth, target schools that serve as community assets (e.g., neighborhood cooling centers or disaster recovery shelters), can be completed quickly, and are crafted thoughtfully within the context of public-school facilities (e.g., procurement restraints, construction windows, etc.). Project partners may include, but are not limited to, governmental entities such as states, local governments, and Tribes; for-profit entities such as utilities and companies that provide energy services or manufacture energy systems; and non-governmental organizations such as community-based organizations, national associations, labor unions, workforce training providers, and energy-focused groups.

Potential applicants for each topic area will be considered based upon the partnering LEA’s demonstrated funding need for energy improvements; whether the school serves a high percentage of students who are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch, or the partnering local educational agency of which is designated with a school district locale code of 41, 42, or 43 as determined by the National Center for Education Statistics; and whether a proposal leverages private sector investment through energy-related performance contracting. Also considered will be the extent of the disparity between the fiscal capacity of the eligible entity to carry out energy improvements at school facilities and the needs of the partnering LEA for those energy improvements; the likelihood that the partnering LEA or eligible entity will maintain the school facilities receiving improvements; and the potential energy efficiency and safety benefits from the proposed energy improvements.

Topic Area 1 – High-Impact Energy Efficiency and Health Improvements
Proposals contemplated under this topic area will include energy improvements that result in direct reduction to school energy costs, increase energy efficiency, and lead to improvements in teacher and student health, including indoor air quality. Energy cost savings may be realized by reduced loads and/or by demand flexibility and demand response approaches. These high-impact energy improvements may take the form of repairs, renovations, or installations to the facility envelope, air conditioning system, ventilation system, heating system, domestic hot water heating system, compressed air system, distribution system, lighting system, power system, and/or controls of a building. Applicants are encouraged to package multiple improvements for deeper savings and carbon reductions.

Topic Area 2 – Innovative Energy Technology Packages
Proposals contemplated under this topic include innovative energy technology packages. Applicants will be encouraged to develop projects that incorporate one or more of the following energy improvements.
• Energy efficiency measures
• Installation of renewable energy technologies
• Alternative fueled vehicle infrastructure on school grounds
• Purchase or lease of alternative fueled vehicles to be used by a school

Eligible Entities
Section 40541 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act specifies eligible entities as a consortium of (a) one LEA and (b) one or more schools; nonprofit organizations that have the knowledge and capacity to partner and assist with energy improvements; for-profit organizations that have the knowledge and capacity to partner and assist with energy improvements; or community partners that have the knowledge and capacity to partner and assist with energy improvements.

Additional Information
This Notice is issued so that interested parties are aware of the SCEP’s intention to issue this FOA in the near term. All information contained in this Notice is subject to change. SCEP will not respond to questions concerning this Notice. Once the FOA has been released, SCEP will provide an avenue for potential Applicants to submit questions.

SCEP envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of grants. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately 2 to 5 years in duration. Additional information and resources related to this new opportunity may be available at the following web page (https://www.energy.gov/bil/grants-energy-efficiency-and-renewableenergy-improvements-public-school-facilities).

Teaming List
SCEP is compiling a “teaming” partner list to facilitate widespread participation in this initiative. This list allows organizations with expertise in these topics to express their interest to potential applicants and to explore potential partnerships. The Teaming Partner List is available on https://eere-Exchange.energy.gov under this NOI (DE-FOA-0002858) until a potential FOA is posted. Any organization that would like to be included on this list should submit the following information to the Teaming List email box (SchoolsFOA@doe.gov) with the subject line “Schools FOA: Teaming Partner Information”:

Organization name, generic organization contact email, generic contact phone,
organization type, geographical area of interest, area of technical expertise (bulleted list
less than 25 words), and brief description of capabilities (less than 100 words).

By submitting a request to be included on the Teaming Partner List, the requesting organization consents to the publication of the above-referenced information. Each organization should provide a generic point of contact e-mail address to receive queries. Direct personal e-mail addresses will not be posted. By facilitating this Teaming Partner List, SCEP does not endorse or otherwise evaluate the qualifications of the entities that self-identify themselves for placement on the Teaming Partner List.

Competition in Contracting
If an eligible entity receiving a grant under this section uses grant funds to carry out repair or renovation through a contract, the eligible entity shall be required to ensure that the contract process:
(1) through full and open competition, ensures the maximum practicable number of
qualified bidders, including small, minority, and women-owned businesses; and
(2) gives priority to businesses located in, or resources common to, the State or
geographical area in which the repair or renovation under the contract will be carried
out.

Pre-application Information
SCEP plans to issue the FOA on or about November 2022 via the EERE eXCHANGE website https://eere-eXCHANGE.energy.gov/. If Applicants wish to receive official notifications and information from SCEP regarding this FOA, they should register in EERE eXCHANGE. When the FOA is released, applications will be accepted only through EERE eXCHANGE. In anticipation of the FOA being released, Applicants are advised to complete the following steps, which are required for application submission:
• Register and create an account in EERE eXCHANGE at https://eere-eXCHANGE.energy.gov.This account will allow the user to apply to any open EERE FOAs that are currently in EERE eXCHANGE.

Beginning on July 29, 2022*, eXCHANGE will be updated to integrate with Login.gov. As of September 29, 2022*, potential applicants will be required to have a Login.gov account to access EERE eXCHANGE. As part of the eXCHANGE registration process, new users will be directed to create an account in Login.gov. Please note that the email address associated with Login.gov must match the email address associated with the eXCHANGE account. For more information, refer to the Exchange Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Quick Guide in the Manuals section of eXCHANGE.

It is recommended that each organization or business unit, whether acting as a team or a single entity, use only one account as the contact point for each submission. Questions related to the registration process and use of the EERE Exchange website should be submitted to: EERE-eXCHANGESupport@hq.doe.gov

• Register with the System for Award Management (SAM) at https://www.sam.gov. Designating an Electronic Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) and obtaining a special password called an MPIN are important steps in SAM registration. Please update your SAM registration annually. Upon registration, SAM will automatically assign a Unique Entity ID (UEI).

• Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and System for Award Management (SAM) – Each applicant (unless the applicant is excepted from those requirements under 2 CFR 25.110) is required to: (1) Be registered in the SAM at https://www.sam.gov before submitting its application, (2) provide a valid UEI number in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal awarding agency. DOE may not make a federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable UEI and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time DOE is ready to make a federal award, the DOE will determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a federal award to another applicant.

NOTE: Due to the high demand of UEI requests and SAM registrations, entity legal business
name and address validations are taking longer than expected to process. Entities should
start the UEI and SAM registration process as soon as possible. If entities have technical
difficulties with the UEI validation or SAM registration process they should utilize the HELP
feature on SAM.gov. SAM.gov will work entity service tickets in the order in which they are
received and asks that entities not create multiple service tickets for the same request or
technical issue. Additional entity validation resources can be found here: GSAFSD Tier 0

Knowledge Base – Validating your Entity.
• Register in FedConnect at https://www.fedconnect.net/. To create an organization account, your organization’s SAM MPIN is required. For more information about the SAM MPIN or other registration requirements, review the FedConnect Ready, Set, Go! Guide at https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/Marketing/Documents/FedConnect_Ready_Set_Go.pdf
• Register in Grants.gov to receive automatic updates when Amendments to a FOA are posted. However, please note that applications will not be accepted through Grants.gov. http://www.grants.gov/. All applications must be submitted through EERE eXCHANGE.