Recently, the Biden administration announced a $500 million grant program to be administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for energy improvements at public school facilities. The program is part of the administration’s new Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure.

The DOE released a Request for Information to launch the new program. Public school facilities will be eligible for energy improvements that result in a direct reduction in school energy costs, including improvements to the air conditioning and heating, ventilation, hot water heating, and lighting systems. In addition, funding would support any improvement, repair, renovation to or installation in a school that leads to an improvement in teacher and student health.

The grant funding will also support additional improvements, repairs or renovations such as the installation of renewable energy technologies, the installation of alternative fueled vehicle infrastructure on school grounds such as school buses or the purchase or lease of alternative fueled vehicles to be used by a school. DOE will prioritize projects in rural and high-poverty schools.

In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with support from DOE, released new online resources to help school districts prepare for the $5 billion Clean School Bus Program created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The EPA anticipates it will begin accepting applications for Clean School Bus Rebates in late April 2022. Districts can apply directly once the application period is open and can start now to gather information needed to apply. Click here for information on how to prepare for Clean Bus Funding.

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