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Grants to Washington IHEs, School Districts, and Agencies to Lower Operational Expenses and Increase Energy Efficiency

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Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Washington State Department of Commerce

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #144052

Grant Description

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Grants to Washington school districts, institutions of higher education, government agencies, and tribal entities for projects that help to lower operational expenses and increase efficient energy usage. Funding is intended for improvements to public-owned facilities and related projects that result in energy and operational cost savings. Projects are required to utilize non-fossil fueled heating equipment or to demonstrate why that is not possible or cost-effective.

The goal of the grant program is to help fund projects that will benefit communities through the reduction of energy use and costs. This solicitation is designed to align with and support the goals of the Washington State Energy Strategy to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emission limits while benefitting people, businesses, and rural, urban, highly impacted, and indigenous communities throughout the state.

COMMERCE will prioritize projects that:

Examples of eligible, reimbursable expenditures include:

  • Installed equipment and construction materials
  • Personnel costs for design, permitting, project management, and procurement of services necessary to the completion of project objectives.
  • Personnel costs for site preparation, installation, and commissioning.

Project Requirements: 

  • The project must be an improvement to existing facilities and related projects that result in energy savings and operational cost savings. Any commissioning must be combined with a capital retrofit project.
  • Projects must have a simple payback of fewer than 35 years using statewide average utility rates 
  • The project must include at least one year of Measurement and Verification.

No more than 50% of energy savings (in kWh) can come from lighting efficiency projects. PCB lighting projects at schools may be 100% of the energy savings.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are:
- Local agencies. Local agencies include city and any town, county, special district, municipal corporation, agency, port district or authority, or political subdivision of any type, or any other entity or authority of local government in corporate form or otherwise.
- Public higher education institutions
- K-12 public school districts
- State agencies
- Federally recognized tribal governments

Applicant Requirements:
- The primary applicant is an eligible applicant that owns the facility with an eligible project.
- Applicants must be in good standing with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and requirements, including with the Department of Commerce.
- Applicants must be responsive to communications from Commerce.

For examples of ineligible, non-reimbursable expenditures, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due May 25, 2022, at 4 p.m. Pacific Time

Questions must be submitted by May 17, 2022. Answers will be posted no later than May 19.

Notifications will be issued in July.

Applications must provide 50% of the total project cost (leverage ratio of 1:1) from other, non-state sources. Match funds do not need to be secured prior to application but must be secured before the contract is executed. The total project cost for this purpose excludes any contingency funds. Certain priority communities are eligible for lower match requirements of 33%, excluding contingency funds.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award is $350,000 per applicant.

Term of Contract:

The construction phase of the project must be completed within 18 months of the award letter return. The contract period is October 2022 - April 2025.

Contact Information:

Apply Online:

Submit questions to

Kristen Kalbrener, Program Manager

Jennifer Grove, Managing Director

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