As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) has initiated the Energy Future Grants (EFG) program, offering $27 million in funding. This program aims to foster collaboration among local, tribal, and state governments, encouraging them to devise innovative solutions that will uplift disadvantaged communities.
Through the Energy Future Grants, direct funding will be provided to facilitate meaningful partnerships between jurisdictions, community-based organizations, academia, utility companies, and nonprofit entities. The focus will be on addressing barriers faced by low-income and disadvantaged communities, ensuring they can fully embrace the advantages of clean energy initiatives.
This first-of-its-kind program promotes ideas led by EFG teams of at least 3-4 governmental partners joining together to present solutions in and across the power, transportation, and building sectors.
“To champion an equitable clean energy future, we must work with communities to foster integrated clean energy solutions across the power, transportation and building sectors,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These Energy Future Grants represent an opportunity to spearhead innovative projects through collaboration, creating clean energy solutions that are equitable, and scalable of clean energy strategies nationwide.”
The DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs is spearheading a program set to award around 50 grants as part of this funding opportunity, with each successful team potentially receiving approximately $500,000 in federal funding. As part of the application process, applicants must submit a Community Benefits Plan (CBP) outlining how their project will fulfill four key objectives:
- Foster community and labor engagement.
- Invest in the American workforce.
- Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA).
- Contribute to the President’s ambition of directing 40% of the overall benefits from specific federal investments to disadvantaged communities, aligning with the Justice40 Initiative.
To support program success, two webinars are scheduled, a general overview on July 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET and a tribal government focused webinar on August 3 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Applications are due September 30, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET. Visit the Energy Future Grants webpage to stay up to date on program announcements. No registration is needed to attend the webinars; links can be found here: July 27 webinar here and the August 3 webinar here.
Through the Office of State and Community Energy Programs, the Department of Energy is overseeing the administration of these funding programs while ensuring that nonprofits, industry leaders, and states are prepared to deliver the energy efficiency projects needed to decarbonize buildings. For more information, visit the Energy Future Grants webpage.