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Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, Tribes, IHEs, and Individuals to Reduce Rural Energy Costs

High Energy Cost Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Rural Development (RD)
CFDA Number: 10.859
Funding or PIN Number: RD–RUS–HECG23
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/07/23 11:59 ET for Electronic Applications; 4:30 PM ET Postmarked for Paper Applications Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, for-profits, government and Tribal agencies, IHEs, and individuals in eligible areas to reduce energy costs for families and individuals. Applicants are advised to complete the required registrations well in advance of the deadline date. Financial assistance is intended for a wide range of activities, equipment, and facilities. The grants help communities provide basic energy needs by financing energy infrastructure supporting rural prosperity and job creation.

The grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, or improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities where the average annual residential expenditure for home energy exceeds 275% of the national average.   For more about the program, see page 2 of the NOFO.

Rural Development Key Priorities: The Agency encourages applicants to consider projects that will advance the following key priorities:

  • Assisting rural communities recover economically through more and better market opportunities and through improved infrastructure
  • Ensuring all rural residents have equitable access to RD programs and benefits from RD funded projects
  • Reducing climate pollution and increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities. 

USDA Priority Points:

How may the funds be used?

To finance the acquisition, construction or improvement of facilities serving eligible communities, including:

  • Electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, including:
    • Equipment, materials and activities
    • Land or right-of-way acquisition, professional expenses, engineering and permitting costs
  • Natural gas distribution and storage facilities, including equipment, materials and activities
  • Petroleum product storage and handling facilities, including equipment, materials and activities
  • Renewable energy facilities, including solar, wind, hydropower or biomass technologies used for on- or off-grid:
    • Electric power generation
    • Water or space heating
    • Process heating and power
  • Backup or emergency power generation or energy storage technology, including generation equipment installed on consumer premises

Implementation of initiatives such as:

  • Energy efficiency improvements and conservation measures ( i.e. weatherization of residences and community facilities)
  • Programs encouraging the use of energy-saving appliances and devices
  • Programs aimed at improving the quality and cost of energy service
Examples of eligible activities:
  • Acquisition, construction, replacement, repair, or improvement of:
    • Electric generation, transmission, and distribution facilities, equipment, and materials, including associated and supporting activities; land or right of way acquisition, engineering and professional expenses, permitting costs;
    • Natural gas distribution or storage facilities and associated equipment and activities serving residential customers or community use;
    • Petroleum product storage and handling facilities serving residential or community use; Renewable energy facilities used for on-grid or off-grid electric power generation, water or space heating, or process heating and power (renewable energy sources include solar, wind, hydropower, or biomass technologies); or
    • Backup or emergency power generation or energy storage equipment, included distributed generation installed on consumer premises. 
  • Implementation of energy efficiency, energy conservation measures such as weatherization of residences and community facilities, energy-efficient or energy-saving appliances and devices as part of a coordinated demand management or energy conservation program.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments
  • Individuals

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Grants are for projects that serve an eligible community; grants are not for the benefit of individuals or a single business. Individuals may apply on behalf of entities not yet incorporated but award will not be made directly to individuals. Applicants must be located in the United States, a U.S. Territory or other area authorized by law to participate in programs of the Rural Utilities Service or under the Rural Electrification Act.

Eligible Applicants
An eligible applicant is any one of the following:
- A legally-organized for-profit or nonprofit organization such as, but not limited to, a corporation, association, partnership (including a limited liability partnership), cooperative, or trust
- A sole proprietorship
- A State or local government, or any agency or instrumentality of a State or local government, including a municipal utility or public power authority
- An Indian tribe, a tribally-owned entity, and or Alaska Native Corporation
- An individual or group of individuals
- Any of the above entities located in a U.S. Territory or other area authorized by law to participate in RUS programs or under the RE Act.

All applicants must demonstrate the legal authority and capacity to enter into a binding grant agreement with RUS at the time of the award and to carry out the proposed grant funded project according to its terms to be an eligible applicant. The application must include information and/or documentation supporting the applicant’s eligibility, legal existence, and capacity to enter into a grant agreement.

Individuals are eligible grant applicants under this program. However, any proposed grant project must provide community benefits and not be for the primary benefit of an individual household.
For more about eligible applicants, see page 4 of the NOFO.

Eligible Communities
To establish community eligibility, the application must (1) clearly identify and define the geographic area that will be included in the grant project and (2) demonstrate that each of the communities in the proposed area meets one or more of the high energy cost benchmarks identified in this notice.
For more information about community eligibility, see page 5 of the NOFO.

Projects cannot be for the primary benefit of a single household or business. Grant funds may not be used for the preparation of the grant application, operating costs, or for the purchase of any equipment, structures, or real estate not directly associated with the provision of community energy services.

Corporations that have been convicted of a Federal felony within the past 24 months are not eligible applicants. Any corporation that has any unpaid federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance.

In addition, under program regulations at 7 CFR 1709.7, an outstanding judgment obtained against an applicant by the United States in a Federal Court (other than in the United States Tax Court), which has been recorded, shall cause the applicant to be ineligible to receive a grant under this program until the judgment is paid in full or otherwise satisfied.

For more information about ineligible costs, see Page 22 of the NOFO.

Pre-Application Information
- Posted date: September 1, 2023
- Closing Date for Applications extended to:
November 7, 2023 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) - Online
November 7, 2023, 4:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) - Hand delivered or postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight

Applicants intending to mail, ship, or overnight applications must allow sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the deadline. Acceptance by the USPS or private mailer does not constitute delivery.

It is expected that finalists will be determined within 6 months of the deadline for submitting applications.

Applicants are encouraged to file electronic applications in advance of the deadline. requires some credentialing and online authentication procedures. These procedures may take several business days to complete.

Organizational entities that wish to submit either a paper or electronic application must provide a Unique Entity Identifier number (UEI) their SF 424 "Application for Federal Assistance”. Instructions for obtaining a UEI are available at

Completing the SAM registration process takes up to five business days, and applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the process well in advance of the application deadline specified in the NOFO.

Individuals wishing to submit a grant application using, are required to complete a onetime registration process. Neither a UEI number nor registration with the System for Award Management (SAM, formerly CCR) is necessary for applicants who are individuals (other than sole proprietorships).

There is no matching or cost-sharing requirement.

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Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
Expected Number of Awards: 10

Estimated Size of Grant
- Award Ceiling: $3,000,000
- Award Floor: $100,000

Term of Contract
Performance Period: Three-years from the date of the Grant Agreement. Approvals of any extensions to the original grant term are the sole discretion of the Agency.

Contact Information
Electronic applications must be filed through

Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed through the United States Postal Service (USPS) or shipped through an overnight commercial delivery service or hand delivered to the Electric Programs headquarters in Washington, D.C. located at Rural Utilities Service, Electric Programs; USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 1560; Room 4121-South Building; Washington, D.C. 20250-1560. Mark the outside of the envelope: “Attention: High Energy Cost Grant Program.”

For further information, contact:
Robin L Meigel
Finance Specialist, Electric Programs,
202-720-9545. or

Rural Electric Program staff

RFP & Supporting Documents
Full Grant Text RFP

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates / changes / addendums / conferences / LOIs.

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