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Grants to USA LEAs, Nonprofits, Agencies, For-Profits, and IHEs to Reduce Energy Consumption at Public Schools

Renew America's Schools Grant

GrantWatch ID# 206916
Agency: Federal

Funding Source
Clean Energy Infrastructure - U.S. Department of Energy
CFDA Number: 81.086
Funding or PIN Number: DE-FOA-0002756
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Conference Date: 12/06/22
LOI Date: 01/26/23
Deadline: 04/21/23 5:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA local education agencies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, for-profit organizations, and IHEs to reduce energy consumption at public schools. Applicants must submit a concept paper and complete required registrations prior to submitting a full application. Required registrations may take up to several weeks to complete.

This FOA supports the administration goals laid out above by funding projects which address historic inequities in school facilities investments, reduce school energy expenditures, help schools lead the nation in solving the climate crisis, and create well-paying union jobs. Energy consumption at U.S. public K-12 schools is a significant source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and the second highest operational expense to schools, second only to salaries.5 Packages of energy improvements, e.g., combining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting upgrades with solar water heating, can save even more energy than individual upgrades, and zero-energy or zero-energy ready construction can reduce energy consumption by more than 65%.3 These improvements can pay dividends for years to come: Every dollar saved on utility bills is a dollar that can be better spent on educating children.

As part of the whole-of-government approach to advance equity and encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining, and in alignment with BIL section 40541, this FOA and any related activities will seek to encourage meaningful engagement and participation of workforce organizations, including labor unions, as well as underserved communities and underrepresented groups, including consultation with Tribal Nations. Consistent with Executive Order 14008, this FOA is designed to help meet the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments in clean energy and climate solutions flow to disadvantaged communities, as defined by the Department pursuant to the Executive Order and to drive the creation of accessible well-paying jobs with the free and fair chance for workers to join a union. 

Topic Areas

Topic Area 1High-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, increased 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 may include any improvement, repair, or renovation to a school that incorporates two or more of the following energy improvements: 

  • Energy efficiency measures, e.g.., HVAC, building envelope improvements, lighting retrofits, sensors and controls
  • Installation of renewable energy technologies, e.g.., rooftop solar or micro wind turbines
  • Alternative fueled vehicle infrastructure on school grounds
  • Purchase or lease of alternative fueled vehicles to be used by a school

For more information on the above topic areas, see Page 10 of the RFP document listed in Supporting Documents, below.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
To be considered for substantive evaluation under this funding opportunity, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements as described in Section 40541(a)(3) of the BIL. If the application does not meet these eligibility requirements, it will be considered ineligible and removed from further evaluation. Specifically, an eligible entity is described as a consortium of:
One local educational agency (LEA)15; and one or more
1. Schools;
2. Nonprofit organizations that have the knowledge and capacity to partner and assist with energy improvements;
3. For-profit organizations that have the knowledge and capacity to partner and assist with energy improvements; or
4. Community partners that have the knowledge and capacity to partner and assist with energy improvements.

The proposed prime recipient and subrecipient(s) must be domestic entities. The following types of domestic entities are eligible to participate as a prime recipient or subrecipient of this FOA:
1. Institutions of higher education;
2. For-profit entities;
3. Non-profit entities; and
4. State and local governmental entities, and Tribal Nations.

For further eligibility information, see Page 16 of the RFP document listed in Supporting Documents, below.

The following types of applications will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be reviewed or considered (See Section III.D. of the FOA):
• Applications that fall outside the technical parameters specified in Sections I.A. and I.B. of the FOA.
• Applications for proposed technologies that are not based on sound scientific principles (e.g., violates the laws of thermodynamics).
• Applications that do not include an “energy improvement” as13 defined in Section 40541(a)(4) of the BIL.
• Applications that do not include an LEA and therefore do not qualify as an “eligible entity” under Section 40541(a)(3) of the BIL. See Section III, Eligibility Information for more information.

Pre-Proposal Conference
An information webinar is scheduled for December 6, 2022 at 1:00 PM ET

Please register in advance at the link provided below:

Pre-Application Information
- FOA Issue Date: 11/29/2022
- Informational Webinar: 12/6/2022
- Submission Deadline for Concept Papers: 1/26/2023 5:00pm ET
- Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 4/21/2023 5:00pm ET
- Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments: 5/22/2023 5:00pm ET
- Expected Date for DOE Selection Notifications: 6/16/2023
- Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: 6/17/2023 - 9/15/2023

The application process includes multiple phases: a Concept Paper phase and a Full Application phase. Only applicants who have submitted an eligible Concept Paper will be eligible to submit a Full Application.

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 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, 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.

In accordance with the cost share reduction waiver, cost share must be at least 5% of the total allowable costs for commercial application projects (i.e., the sum of the government share, including FFRDC costs if applicable, and the recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project) and must come from non-federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
Individual awards may vary between $500,000 and $15,000,000.

Term of Contract
Award Duration: 2-5 years

Contact Information
Apply online:

Direct questions to

In the event that an applicant experiences technical difficulties with a submission, the applicant should contact the EERE Exchange helpdesk for assistance (

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