DOE Pilot Program Will Help Make Nonprofit Buildings More Efficient, Saving Organizations Money to Reinvest in Mission-Driven Work  

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on a new $50 million energy upgrade pilot program for nonprofits. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Energy Efficiency Materials Program will help nonprofits purchase materials and implement building upgrades to decrease utility costs, create healthier community spaces, and help reduce carbon emissions in commercial buildings. As a first-of-its-kind investment from DOE, it will provide an opportunity to bolster the financial health and long-term sustainability of nonprofits and empower them to take part in the clean energy transition.  

“Nonprofits and faith communities work tirelessly to improve the overall wellbeing of people, yet many of them must spend large portions of their already tight budgets on building and energy costs,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These pilot investments, made possible by President Biden’s climate agenda, will put more money back into our communities and empower the nonprofit sector to contribute to our clean energy transition while continuing to do good for our local economies.”   

The nonprofit sector is a major component of the American economy, employing more than 12 million workers, making the sector the third largest in the country. These organizations also provide critical services in communities and include diverse organizations – such as libraries, worship facilities, community centers, animal shelters, hospitals, healthcare clinics, museums, art institutions, youth sports leagues, scientific testing centers, and more. More than half a million facilities are operated by nonprofits in the United States, and most are in commercial spaces where up to 30% of energy can be wasted due to inefficiencies. 

Eligible nonprofits can apply for funding in individual grants of up to $200,000 to make critical energy upgrades at their buildings so they can direct more resources towards mission-driven work in their communities. Through this pilot program, DOE will identify scalable models for energy efficiency retrofits in both the nonprofit and other commercial sectors. 

DOE encourages applicants that have not traditionally been the recipient of past DOE grant programs to respond to the RFI. The information collected from this RFI will be used by DOE for planning purposes to develop a potential Funding Opportunity Announcement. 

The deadline to submit a response to this RFI is December 22, 2022 by 5:00PM ET. Only electronic responses sent to will be accepted. Download the Request for Information to see the full list of questions and instructions on how to submit a response.