OfficeSolar Energy Technologies OfficeVehicle Technologies Office, Building Technologies Office
Funding NumberDE-FOA-0002258
Funding Amount: $4.5 million


On April 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $4.5 million in funding for training programs that target professionals who are newly interacting with distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar energy systems, energy storage systems, efficient building technologies, and alternative-fuel vehicles.

The Education Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments (EMPOWERED) funding program is a collaborative effort across three Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) offices: the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), and Building Technologies Office (BTO). This program will provide educational materials and training resources for first responders, safety officials, and building managers and owners so they can be prepared to manage new energy technologies and continue their work safely and effectively.

EERE expects to make approximately $4.5 million of federal funding available for 2-4 awards under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), subject to the availability of appropriated funds. EERE may issue one, multiple, or no awards. Individual awards may range from $1 million to $2.25 million.

SETO, BTO, and VTO seek projects that develop, test, and disseminate educational materials, while working with existing training organizations to ensure these materials get to the right professionals—those involved with the implementation of solar, building, or vehicle technologies in buildings, as well as those who may need to respond to emergencies at those same locations.  

This funding program aims to fill knowledge gaps in training, credentialing, and education for the professionals mentioned above. Providing them with up-to-date resources will help reduce costs and increase consumer confidence in these technologies.

On December 22, 2020, DOE announced selections for the EMPOWERED funding program. Read the announcement

Topic Areas

This FOA focuses on two topic areas. The industries specified in these topic areas have been identified as target audiences based on their potential to enable greater access to building efficiency, solar, storage, and vehicle technologies.

TOPIC AREA 1: Emergency Response and Resilience Planning

This topic area seeks to train and educate firefighters, first responders, and other emergency-response professionals to manage and adapt to the rapid growth of clean energy technologies.

TOPIC AREA 2: Safe DER Building Integration: Building, Fire, and Safety Department Officials

This topic area seeks to train and educate safety officials, building managers, and building owners to manage and adapt to the rapid growth of clean energy technologies.

Key Dates

FOA Issue Date:April 6, 2020
Informational Webinar:April 16, 2020
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:May 12, 2020 5:00 p.m. EST
Submission Deadline for Full Applications:July 8, 2020 5:00 p.m. EST
Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments:August 11, 2020 5:00 p.m. EST
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications:September 2020
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations:September-November 2020

Additional Information

Download the full funding opportunity on the EERE Exchange website.

Learn how to apply for a funding opportunity.

Read the DOE press release about this funding opportunity announcement.

For FOA-specific support, contact

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