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Connected Communities

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, Educational Institutions,
and Individuals to Improve Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/17/21 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and Territories nonprofit organizations, for-profits, educational institutions, individuals, and others for projects that optimize energy efficiency in buildings throughout the country. A concept paper is required prior to submitting a full proposal. In addition, applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support new construction as well as retrofits of groups of energy-efficient, grid-connected buildings that reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.

A Connected Community (CC) is a group of grid-interactive efficient buildings GEB with diverse, flexible end use equipment and other distributed energy resources (DERs) that collectively work to maximize building, community, and grid efficiency. Under this FOA, DOE will select a portfolio of “Connected Community” projects in varying climates, geographies, building types, building vintages, DERs utility/grid/regulatory structures and resource bases. Through funding these projects, DOE hopes to find and share technical and market solutions that will increase demand flexibility and energy efficiency.

DOE expects that the combined insights from the whole portfolio will provide scalable solutions that can be applied throughout the country. Individual projects can include new construction, retrofits of existing building, residential, commercial, mixed use, campuses, and appropriate DERs. It is anticipated, but not required, that proposals will come from multi-disciplinary partnerships between energy utilities/providers, building/home developers/owners/operators, manufacturers, researchers and other key players.

The objective of this FOA is to select projects that will demonstrate how groups of buildings combined with other types of DERs2 , such as electric vehicle (EV) charging and photovoltaic (PV) generation, can reliably and cost effectively serve as grid assets by strategically deploying efficiency and demand flexibility. By demonstrating the ability of groups of buildings and DERs to modify load, the FOA outcomes will enable increased energy efficiency, reduced energy demand, and reduced emissions and environmental impact, while maintaining (if not enhancing) occupant satisfaction and productivity. 

For project examples, see pg. 13 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement listed in Supporting Documents below. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 192891

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

EERE anticipates making approximately 6-8 awards under this FOA. EERE may issue one, multiple, or no awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Individual awards may vary between $3 million and $7 million, but DOE reserves the right to adjust these amounts depending on the applications submitted.

Term of Contract:

EERE anticipates making awards that will run up to 36-60 months in length.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- Individuals: US citizens and lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply as a prime recipient or subrecipient.
- Domestic Entities: For-profit entities, educational institutions, and nonprofits that are incorporated under the laws of a particular state or territory of the US and have a physical location for business operations in the US are eligible to apply as a prime recipient or subrecipient. State, local, and tribal government entities are eligible.
- Foreign Entities: Whether for-profit or otherwise, foreign entities are eligible to apply. Prime recipients must be incorporated under the laws of a state or territory in the US and have a physical location for business operations in the US. A foreign entity may receive funding as a subrecipient.
- Incorporated Consortia: Both domestic and/or foreign entities are eligible to apply.
- Unincorporated consortia: Whether domestic or foreign, these must designate one member of the consortium as prime recipient or consortium representative. The prime recipient/consortium representative must be incorporated under the laws of a state or territory of the US.

For further details on Eligibility Information, see pg. 27 of the FOA.

EERE strongly encourages teams from different organizations, scientific disciplines, and technology sectors to form interdisciplinary and cross-sector teams that span organizational boundaries. EERE is compiling a Teaming Partner List to facilitate the widest possible participation for this FOA.

For nonfunded application types, see pg. 25 of the FOA.

Pre-proposal Conference:

There will be a FOA informational webinar held on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at 2:00pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). (Attendance is not mandatory.)

The Link to this webinar is:

Pre-Application Information:


- FOA Issue Date: 10/13/2020
- Informational Webinar: Please see FOA posting in Exchange for link 11/10/2020
- Submission Deadline for Concept Papers: 5:00pm ET 3/3/2021
- Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 5:00pm ET 3/17/2021
- View Full Application Reviewer Comments Period: 4/26/2021 5:00 PM ET – 5/4/2021 5:00 PM ET
- Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments: 5:00pm ET 5/4/2021
- Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications: 7/1/2021
- Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: 9/16/2021

Concept papers will be accepted on a rolling basis until the concept paper due date.Applicants must submit a Concept Paper by 5:00pm ET on the due date listed above to be eligible to submit a Full Application. Concept papers will be accepted starting on the FOA issue date above and encourage/discourage determinations will be sent within seven calendar days of submission. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit concept papers and full applications at least 48 hours in advance of the submission deadline.

Registration requirements:

1. EERE Exchange - Each applicant must register and create an account. This registration does not have a delay. However, the remaining registration requirements below could take several weeks to process and are necessary for a potential applicant to receive an award under this FOA..
2. Each applicant (unless exempt) is required to be registered in SAM before submitting an application.
3. Each applicant must provide a valid DUNS number in the application.
4. Each applicant must register in FedConnect.
5. Each applicant must register in
6. Electronic authorization of applications and award documents is required.

Cost share must be at least 30% of the total allowable costs for demonstration projects.

For a list of required application documents, see DE-FOA-0002206: Connected Communities at URL for Full Text below, and click on Required Application Documents.

View this opportunity on

Informational Webinar: A playback of the informational webinar mentioned in the FOA can be found by following this link:

Contact Information:

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

To apply online via the EERE Online Portal (Exchange):

Contact Information:
- For questions about the Exchange System or submitting an application through Exchange. Include FOA name and number in subject line
- For questions regarding the Connected Communities FOA
- To be added to the Connected Communities Teaming List.

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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

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