How to tap into $80M in new funds available for school energy upgrades

Renew America’s Schools' grant program will ultimately provide $500 million to districts serving historically disadvantaged and rural communities.

Leaders eyeing energy upgrades for the highest-needs districts can now apply to share $80 million in Renew America’s Schools grants.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Renew America’s Schools grant program, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will ultimately provide $500 million to districts serving historically disadvantaged and rural communities. The funding should help administrators reduce school energy costs and create healthier learning environments through air quality upgrades and other building improvements. 

School facilities receive the second-highest amount of public infrastructure spending but school buildings are consistently reported as aging, unhealthy and inefficient, the administration noted in its announcement of the new grant funding. Eligible Renew America’s Schools projects include heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements.

“By making our students’ learning environments healthier with these critical energy improvements, our children will be better able to reach their full potential in the classroom,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said  in the announcement. “DOE is working diligently to deploy these critical funds so that schools can start turning infrastructure improvements into healthier learning environments and big cost savings.”

The deadline for Renew America’s Schools’ concept papers is Jan. 26, 2023, and full applications are due by April 21, 2023. School leaders can tap into these additional resources:

The Department of Energy’s $4.5 million Energy Class Prize will provide an additional $100,000 to improve energy management training for district personnel so they can better implement and maintain health and efficiency upgrades. Participating districts that submit a first-year progress report may earn an additional $50,000. Applications for the Energy CLASS Prize are due by Feb. 28, 2023.

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Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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