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Learn about some of the current federal funding opportunities available for tribes and tribal energy projects.
Office of Indian Energy

BRANDON KIGER: Welcome, everyone. I'm Brandon Kiger, today's webinar host. I am a contractor supporting the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, tribal energy webinar series. Today's webinar, titled Federal Funding for Tribes, is the first webinar of the 2023 DOE Tribal Energy webinar series. Let's go over some event details. 

Today's webinar is being recorded and will be made available on DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs website in about one week. Copies of today's presentation slides will be posted on the Office of Indian Energy website shortly after this webinar, if not already. Everyone will receive a post webinar email with the link to the page, where the slides and recordings will be located. 

Because we are recording this webinar, all phones have been muted. We will answer your written questions at the end of today's final presentation, except for the US Treasury presentation for which we will take questions immediately following their presentation. You can submit a question at any time by clicking on the question button located in the Webinar Control Panel on your screen and typing your question. 

Let's get started with opening remarks from Lizana Pierce. Ms Pierce is a senior engineer and deployment supervisor for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs and duty stationed in Golden, Colorado. She was responsible for the execution of the deployment program which is national in scope. Specifically, the Deployment Program includes financial assistance, technical assistance, and education and outreach. She also implements national funding opportunities and administers some of the tribal energy project grants and agreements. She has nearly 30 years of experience in project development and management and has been assisting tribes in developing their energy resources for over 20 years. Ms Pierce holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carlos State University, Lozano. The virtual floor is now yours. 

LIZANA PIERCE: Thank you, Brandon, and hello, everyone. I join Brandon in welcoming you to today's webinar. This webinar series is sponsored by the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. Otherwise referred to as the Office of Indian Energy. The Office of Indian Energy's Congressional Charter is to promote Indian energy development, efficiency, and use, reduce or stabilize energy costs, enhance and strengthen Indian tribal energy and economic infrastructure, and bring electric power and service to Indian lands and home. 

To provide this assistance, our deployment program partners with Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to overcome the barriers to energy development. I can play a program that is composed of a three-pronged approach consisting of financial assistance, practical assistance, and education capacity building. This tribal energy webinar series is just one example of our education and capacity building efforts. This year webinar series is entitled Tribes Seizing the Opportunity for a Clean Energy Future. 

The federal funding going towards climate change solutions of the tribal communities at this point is unprecedented. And seizing upon this potentially once in a lifetime opportunity will likely be key to managing the climate crisis. Lessening the gaps in equity, while increasing energy sovereignty. This webinar series will look at how tribes can participate in the energy transition. Each webinar of the 2023 series will include information on tools and resources, highlight tribal energy case studies, and identify potential funding opportunities. 

In this first webinar of the series, we want to share some of the federal funding opportunities available to try and discuss some new provisions that could impact your tribal energy project. As you may be aware, we are currently in a time of unprecedented opportunity for tribal energy projects. The last two years of the Biden administration has at least an unprecedented amount of funding and incentives for climate change solutions. We do hope today's webinar and webinar series as a whole will support your tribal literacy goals and help you navigate the opportunities that exist in managing your clean energy future. 

We hope this webinar or the series as a whole is useful to you. We also welcome your feedback, so let us know if there are ways we can make the series better. You can send feedback to our main email address at IndianEnergy@hq.doe.com. And before we move on to the other presenters, I want to provide some information on the office of Indian energy and highlight a few funding opportunities for your tribal energy projects. Joe, if we could get to the next slide, I'd appreciate it. 

So just to reiterate, as advocated for and by the tribes and incorporated in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Office of Indian Energy was stood up at about 2011 as one of about a dozen assistant secretarial level officers within the department. And we've gone through the charter that we were given, and I won't go over that again here. Next slide, please. 

So to achieve our mission and address barriers that drive space, the Office of Indian Energy offers financial assistance, typically through competitive grants, technical assistance, which is offered at no charge to Indian tribes and tribal entities, and education and capacity building. These three prongs are intended to assist Indian tribes and tribal entities overcome the unique regulatory, technical, and economic challenges to developing their vast energy resources if and how they so choose. 

I don't have time today to share information on the technical assistance. However, you can explore more and even apply online for technical assistance on our website and learn more about the informational resources there. Next slide, please. Since 2010, DOE's Office of Indian Energy has invested over $120 million in more than 210 tribal energy projects across the contiguous 48 states of Alaska. These projects valued at over $250 million. Through these grants, the Office of energy and energy continues its efforts in partnership with Native communities to maximize the deployment of clean energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Native. 

We've been fortunate to have been able to fund over 32% of all the applications we've received since 2010, and by the way, this slide shows our tribal energy project database, which is on our website. It offers an interactive map along with a sortable table. You can get information on all the project summaries, presentations, and a completed final report. Next slide, please. 

I did want to take this opportunity to highlight a couple of the funding opportunities we currently have out. On November 1, the Department of Energy, office of Indian energy issued two funding opportunity announcements. One for clean energy technology deployment on tribal land and the other to power on electrify tribal buildings. Combined, these funding opportunity announcements or flows are valued at $35 million. 

Under this funding opportunity announcement, clean energy technology deployment on tribal lands, the Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes, including Alaskan Native regional corps, those corporations, intertribal organizations, intertribal energy development organizations to install clean energy generating system and energy efficiency on tribal buildings, to deploy community scale clean energy generating systems for energy storage on tribal lands, and to install integrated energy systems for autonomous operations independent of the traditional centralized electric grid, to power a single or multiple essential tribal buildings during emergency situations or for tribal community resilience. 

Applications under this funding opportunity-- announcements are due on February 9, and you can find more on the IE Exchange websites at ie-exchange.energy.gov. EOE expects to make $20 million in federal funding available for new award under this particular follow up and anticipates making approximately 6 to 15 awards. These work for DOE funding per ward would range from $100,000 to a maximum of 2 million plus facility scale projects and from no less than $250,000 to a maximum of 4 million for community scale projects. 

I will note that a 20% cost share of the total allowable cost of the project, which is the sum of DOE, and the recipient cost share is the total allowable cost of the process. So 20% of that is required. All cost share must come from non-federal sources, unless otherwise allowed by law. However, if requested, the applicant as part of their application can request the cost of reduction to not less than 10%. May be considered based on poverty rate and median household income of the tribal community relative to statewide median household income. 

The application forms and templates can be found on the IE Exchange website, and note that in addition to the templates and forms available, there are also applicant-generated documents needed to complete your application. The [INAUDIBLE] has a hub table, which could be used as a checklist if you're applying to ensure you complete all the required documents. Again, for full details, go to the IE Exhcnage at IE-flash-exchange.energy.gov. Pardon me. An informational recording is also available on IE Exchange website, and we will only accept applications through that IE Exchange website. Next slide, please. 

The second application that was issued on November 1 is for Powering Unelectrified Tribal Building, and these applications are due February 23. Specifically under this funding opportunity announcement, the DOE Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes, again, including Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organization. Specifically to provide electric power to tribal building, which otherwise would be unelectrified by deploying integrated energy systems or energy infrastructure. 

DOE expects to make $15 million in federal funding available for new awards under this [? follow-up ?] and anticipates making 4 to 10 awards ranging from no less than $250,000 to a maximum of $4 million in DOE funds per award. As with the deployment [? follow-up, ?] a 20% cost share of the total allowable cost of the project is required, unless we approve the requested cost reduction to 10% to request the cost share reduction using [INAUDIBLE] template under applications forms and templates for the online exchange. Again, if you're interested, you may want to look at the recorded webinar we had for additional information. Next slide, please. 

So for full details and to apply, you can see IE-Exchange at the website on the top of the slide. The recorded information webinar again, as I said, is available on the IE exchange website. Provides additional details on how to apply and the documents needed for complete application. All questions related to these funding opportunities must be submitted via email to tribalgrants@hq.eoe.gov. Also you can see the frequently asked questions on IE-Exchange. Some of your questions may have already been answered. Next slide, please. 

Shown here is a screenshot of our website at energy.gov/indianenergy. You can subscribe on our main page to our email newsletter-- receive information on funding opportunities through DOE Office of Indian Energy, other daily programs, and other agencies. Learn about upcoming events, news, and other tribal energy-related information directly. Next slide, please. I want to thank you for your time and attention. You can reach us on our main helpdesk number or email. Please reach out if you have questions or need assistance. 

And hopefully, we can help direct you to resources through the office across the department or even other agencies. And you can join us on Twitter and Facebook at DOE Indian Energy. Next slide, please. So thank you. And in closing, the Office of Indian energy's goal is really to assist tribes in achieving their energy vision. And again, more pictures because I think of those [INAUDIBLE] the story of thse tribal projects. Thank you. 

BRANDON KIGER: All right. Thank you, [? Lassana. ?] Before we get started with the remaining presentations, I first just want to introduce today's speakers. So we just heard from Lassana. And our next speakers are a team effort from the US Department of Treasury, including Anita Stephen, who is a policy advisor in the Office of the Counselor for Racial Equity. The counselor's office is charged with coordinating Treasury's efforts to advance racial equity, including engaging with diverse communities throughout the country and identifying and mitigating barriers to accessing benefits and opportunities with the department. 

We also have Krishna Vallabhaneni-- tax legislative counsel, who supervises attorneys, accountants, and taxation specialists who provide legal advice and analysis relating to tax legislation and regulations. Next, we have Fatima Abbas, who is currently serving as acting director of the new office of Tribal and Native Affairs within the United States Department of Treasury, where she is working on standing up the new office and supervising tribal policy advisors, addressing issues impacting tribes across the department, and overseeing the implementation of over $30 billion in tribal treasury recovery funds. 

Fatima previously served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Recovery Programs at the Treasury and as Vice President of Government Relations at the National Congress of American Indians, where she worked on tribal legislation, including recovery, infrastructure, and tax matters. Prior to NCAI, Fatima served tribal governments in-house at the Karuk tribe's First General Council and the Colorado River Indian Tribes Deputy Attorney General and has worked as a commercial litigator for a large law firm in Philadelphia. Fatima is a graduate of Berkeley Law School and is an enrolled citizen of the Haliwa Saponi Indian tribe. 

And then last with the US Treasury, we have Jim Colombe, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe and Nez Perce descent. He grew up in the Rosebud Sioux reservation in Mission, South Dakota. Jim studied organic chemistry, graduating from Harvard in 2010, and earning his PhD from MIT in 2015. Jim worked on tribal policy issues at the Federal Reserve before joining the Treasury Office of Tribal and Native Affairs to implement the State Small Business Credit Initiative for tribal governments. Jim currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Following US Treasury, we will hear from Andi Mirviss. Andi is the lead for stakeholder engagement and communications on Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, otherwise known as EECBG, which is run by the Office of State and Community Energy programs. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Andi led research and programs with cities and counties focused on promoting learning from failures in government. 

Following Andi will be Homari Aoki. Homari is a Program and Management Analyst and Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Energy Grid's Deployment Office. She is responsible for tribal outreach and engagement for grid resilience formula grants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Homari was an Assistant Program Manager at LixCap, a global development consultancy. 

She received her master's in global development from the Cornell University, where she conducted research on renewable energy development in Kenya. And while receiving her master's degree, she was a Program Support Specialist at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement under the Oil Spill Preparedness division. Homari also served two years as an Agriculture Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental economics and policy from the University of Illinois. 

Following Homari, will be Kassie Grimes. Kassie is a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the Department of Energy Building Technologies office, where she supports their goals of advancing energy efficiency and electrification solutions for commercial buildings. Her primary programs include the Building Upgrade Prize and several projects related to energy, equity, and environmental justice. She completed a PhD and master's in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Virginia. 

And finally, we have Adam DeDent. Adam has been an attorney with the Department of Energy since 2009. He began his federal career with the Advanced Research Project Agency, otherwise known as ARPA-E, transitioning to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in 2013, where he has worked for the past 10 years. In that time, he has advised numerous DOE programs in a number of areas, including financial assistance, [INAUDIBLE] development and management, acquisition, ethics, personnel, appropriations, records management, policy development, and many others. His primary programmatic portfolio covers the state and community energy program division of DOE, but he regularly advises other programs as needed. 

Thank you to each of our presenters for making the time to join us today. And as a reminder, please feel free to submit a question at any time by clicking on the Question button located at the webinar control panel on your screen, and then type in your question. We will answer your questions at the end of today's final presentation, with the exception of the US Treasury. We will take questions immediately following their presentation. We'll try to keep that to about 10 minutes. 

With that, let's get started with our next presentation. Panelists from the US Treasury, you may proceed once your slides are up. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Thank you very much. This is Krishna Vallabhaneni, Tax Legislative Counsel here at Treasury. So I'll be starting off, and my other colleagues will be joining part of the presentation as we move forward. Next slide, please. 

As many of you know, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which we use the sometimes confusing term IRA, is probably one of the most, if not the most significant pieces of legislation dealing with climate issues and transitioning to clean energy in the country's history. And the vast majority of the funding in the Inflation Reduction Act is in the form of tax incentives, primarily tax credits. Next slide, please. 

Starting-- so the Inflation Reduction Act was enacted in the middle of August, and immediately Treasury and our colleagues at IRS began working on implementing this huge package of legislation. We started looking for public input very, very quickly after the enactment. In early October, we put out six different notices requesting comments on various topics. 

Essentially, there are 12 major credit provisions in the tax code that were added by the Inflation Reduction Act, everything from clean vehicles to advanced manufacturing of components used in renewable energy power facilities, provisions related to hydrogen facilities, provisions related to all sorts of power generation. And also very novel, at least from the Treasury perspective, provisions related to environmental justice in the form of allocated tax credits, or tax credit capacity I should say. 

There's also novel features that for the first time open up tax incentives to entities that do not otherwise have any requirement to pay federal income tax. And prior to the IRA, passing a tax credit was kind of useless if you didn't have taxes to be offset by the tax credit. A large portion of what the IRA did was open up for your traditional tax exempt entities as well as state and local governments, any tribal governments, Alaska Native corporations, and rural electric cooperatives the ability to essentially monetize the credits from going through the construction of these facilities and then filing some sort of election with the IRS to pretend that you paid tax. And then since there was no tax liability, the IRS would refund that amount of the credit to the claiming entity. So that's a big development in the IRA. 

There are also other provisions relating to requiring or increasing the amount of the credit that's available by meeting certain additional requirements, such as prevailing wages set by Department of Labor, having workers work on the construction of facilities that are apprentices in registered apprenticeship programs. There are certain increased credits for using domestic content, and there's also increased credits available if the facilities are located in so-called energy communities. Next slide, please. 

[COUGH] 

Excuse me. Later in-- or after the first tranche of comment requests, we also put out additional requests on commercial clean vehicles. And don't let the term "commercial" [INAUDIBLE] in this context fool you. These are basically vehicles used for non-personal use. So tax exempt entities that are not necessarily businesses also may qualify for those credits as well as credits for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, basically, if you think of charging stations on highways, et cetera. 

The IRA also expanded the carbon capture credit. Sometimes people refer to it as carbon sequestration. Also the IRA made a big sort of investment in incentivizing clean hydrogen and energy production-- or electricity production, I should say, also from clean fuels. Next slide, please. 

So we did receive-- we've received in total thousands of comments from all across the country. I'll say that we've also engage with the tribal governments directly through tribal consultations in November as well. So we have already put out some guidance in the last part of 2022. We put out initial guidance relating to how taxpayers in a generic way, including non-taxpaying entities, could qualify for the increased credit amounts from satisfying prevailing wage rate and apprenticeship requirements. We also put out guidance relating to a new sustainable aviation fuel credit, basically related to the production of it, not necessarily the use of the aviation fuel. 

Also we have, at the very end of 2020 to put out initial guidance on clean vehicle credits. And the slide has these two sections of the tax code, 30D and 45W. You may have come across those references. 

30D is the new clean vehicle credit. So basically anybody goes up to a car dealership and purchases a qualifying vehicle. That would be the primary credit used by that purchaser for acquiring the vehicle for personal use. 

45W, on the other hand, that's the actual tax code provision for the so-called commercial clean vehicle credit which is, again, available for nontaxable businesses as well, but it's for the non personal use of the-- so for example, if a charity were to purchase it for performing their tax exempt purpose, that would qualify as a non-personal use. Governments would qualify for using vehicles for the business of their government, et cetera. And taxable commercial businesses would qualify for using it for purposes of their business. 

So those are the three pieces of initial guidance. We will be putting out a lot more guidance on all-- not necessarily just these three items, but on all of the Inflation Reduction Act provisions. If you go to the next slide, I'll turn it over to Anisha, who will start off with the first provision here. 

ANISHA STEEPHEN: Thanks, Krishna. Hi, everyone. Thank you for having us share this information today. I'm going to start with Section 48E. So section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code provides a 30% investment tax credit for the cost of developing certain types of energy property. The IRA established 48E, which is an environmental justice bonus credit on top of the 30% investment tax credit for small scale solar and wind facilities that are developed and placed in service in specific categories that are outlined in the statute. Those categories are a 10% increase for energy projects located in low income communities or on Indian land, a 20% increase for energy projects installed as part of federally subsidized housing that benefits tenants, and also a 20% increase for projects with at least 50% of the benefits provided to low income households. 

The bonus credits have a capacity allocation every year, which is capped at 1.8 gigawatts. So there will be a process in order for eligible projects to be designated for the credit increase. And I just want to highlight the two places in the statute for this credit where tribal communities are specifically referenced. The first is, as I mentioned before, the 10% increase for location on Indian land. And the second is the 20% increase that is part of federally subsidized housing. This includes housing programs administered by tribally designated housing entities, which is detailed in the statutes. I'll pass it back to you, Krishna. Thanks. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Sure. Thank you, Anisha. So before we get into some of the specific questions that we had asked previously of tribal leaders, I just want to run through a few of the other provisions that may be of particular interest to tribal leaders. So the next one, next provision on this slide deals with a preexisting tax deduction, and it's for essentially upgrading the systems or actually building a new energy efficient and designed to be energy efficient commercial building. And so this does not necessarily need to be a building that is owned by a taxable business. Again, the "commercial" is just a shorthand used in the tax code often to distinguish between a personal residence, if you will, or a individual's building. 

Essentially, in the context of tribal governments, as well as other governments, because, again, there's no federal income tax liability that the government would be liable to or owing to the federal government, there's a pre-existing mechanism there for essentially transferring the value of this tax deduction to either an architect or a designer, someone who-- a taxable partner in developing this type of building. And so just want to point out that this provision is available for tribal governments and Alaska Native corporations, and that was clarified by the IRA here. Next slide, please. 

[COUGH] 

Excuse me. Again, wanted to mention that there is a portion of the clean vehicle credit that requires that in order for a vehicle to qualify for the credit, it needs to be acquired from a licensed dealer. And licensing for this purpose includes licensing by an Indian tribal government or Alaska Native corporation per the statute. And so one thing, and I think we'll get to this in a little bit, it's not necessarily obvious to us whether there are particular issues or concerns with that licensing process or just the way dealers may be licensing that might be different than how other jurisdictions may license vehicle dealerships in their jurisdictions. 

The IRA also amended Section 48C of the tax code, relating to the electricity investment credit, which is also a-- maybe I'll just back up a second. Most credits in the tax code are essentially self-executing, in the sense that to the extent the taxpayer qualifies for the credit by essentially constructing the particular type of facility and meeting the requirements of any particular credit permission, they would then just either file their tax return and claimed the credit or, under the new provision for the selective payment, make an election after completing the construction and receive the payment. And just similar to the program that Anisha mentioned, this is also an allocated credit, and there is a 10 percentage point of credit for facilities located on Indian lands to the extent they're producing clean electricity as defined in the statute. Next slide, please. 

And so this Section 6417 of the tax code is the new provision I had mentioned earlier relating to the election by so-called tax exempt entities, which includes Indian tribal governments, Alaska Native corporations and many other entities that are not even subject to tax, similarly. So it's not just for charities or 501(c) entities. It is for entities that are not subject to US tax who essentially put together a facility or produce energy using a facility within the United States. We're working on the procedures that these types of entities would undertake to make the election to receive that payment. 

Typically we find that a lot of the tax exempt entities and charities and other types of 501 entities, they do have a regular tax information filing obligation that governmental entities do not have. And I think we're very open to hearing from tribal governments on what sort of process and procedure might make sense for tribal governments to essentially raise their hand and say, hey, IRS, we've done everything we need to do in order to qualify for this tax credit. We want to make the election to receive, instead of a credit, a payment of the credit amount. And so that process is something that we are working on developing and should have more information in the-- it's hard to tell when exactly the process is because it's not just the rules around how you qualify. But we are sort of building from scratch with the IRS a whole new process for accepting these elections. Next slide, please. 

So as I mentioned, we had engaged in tribal consultation at the latter half of November, early December with the tribal governments and also with Alaska Native corporations. And we had walked through a series of questions that we had circulated to them in advance. I know you all may have questions, so I'm wondering if we should wrap up because I think I've sort of highlighted these questions. But let me just double check real quick. 

FATIMA ABBAS: Krishna, this is Fatima. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Yeah. 

FATIMA ABBAS: I was going to cover the tribal consultation feedback that we've received so far. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Go ahead. 

FATIMA ABBAS: Thanks. Good afternoon, and good morning to those out West. So as Krishna mentioned, Treasury engaged in three consultations on the IRA implementation to specifically or with regard to tribal governments. We had 300 attendees, and one was specific to ANSI, given the ANSI references in the IRA. 

Due to the technical nature of this statute, we had very specific questions to tribes to try to receive the most targeted feedback. And currently in the process of developing the tribal consultation summary, which will be public, before getting into the specific type of feedback we've received, we heard very strong support for inclusion of the trust and treaty responsibility into the implementation of the IRA. Also we heard feedback from many tribal governments regarding resource constraints in a request that to the extent possible they be afforded more streamlined applications and not have to compete against other governmental entities. And then we also heard a request for inclusion of the new tribal office and implementation. 

So I'm going to quickly go through some of the highlights of the comments that we've received. And again, this will be available to the tribal public shortly when we finish our consultation summary. So the first questions you see up on this slide regarding the direct pay provisions that Krishna went over, some of the questions that we had regarding clarification. So many tribal commenters asked for an expansive definition of applicable entity that would include the political and economic subdivisions of a tribe, such as the Tribal Energy Development Corporation, a Section 17 or a tribal utility authority. 

And tribes also highlighted that how the entity is formed should not inform whether it is a tribal applicable entity. So for example, if a tribe incorporates under state law rather than tribal law, that shouldn't be a factor, is what we heard regarding that. Regarding the other questions on this page, again, we heard a request for streamlined processes for tribes, taking into account the administrative and financial burdens that they face. 

And then with regard to what features Treasury and IRS should take into consideration in setting procedures, again, we heard inclusion of the trust responsibility, a recognition that access to capital and planning are significant barriers for tribes vis a vis other entities. Tribes also requested a point of contact for their IRA questions, and also to receive targeted updates specifically for tribes so that they understand how these provisions apply to them. Next slide, please. 

These questions relate to the Section 48E and 48H that Anisha went over, and they specifically involve the increased tax credits for projects in low income communities and on tribal lands. So within these sets of comments, we heard that for tribal lands, some tribal commenters requested that there be no additional factors used to assess eligibility for tribal lands so that, for example, they opposed the inclusion of low income communities on tribal lands. They wanted just the inquiry to stop at tribal lands. 

With regard to tribal inclusion in low income communities, we heard feedback that the census is often-- does not provide sufficient data regarding low income tribal communities. We heard requests for projects that are on tribal lands, that there be a requirement of tribal consultation between the developer. So that's just some of the initial feedback that we got with regard to this provision. Next slide, please. 

The next question that we had regarded prevailing wages. The statute is very specific with regard to prevailing wages. And the level of flexibility that Treasury may have here may be limited, but we did receive credible feedback that to the extent possible tribes requested that projects on tribal lands be subject to tribal prevailing wage requirements, which take into account tribal employment rate office provisions for Indian preference. Next slide, please. 

So the next two questions, I'm going to turn it over to policy advisor James Colombe summarize the tribal comments. James. 

JAMES COLOMBE: Thanks, Fatima. I'll be quick because I know we want to have time for questions. This question has lived long. But it is about domestic content requirements for bonus credit eligibility. 

Some of the commenters asked to ask for a list of manufacturers to certify their products meet the domestic content requirements. They also asked for either specific percentage points for total components be explicit so they can make sure their project is in compliance, or technical assistance to help suss out those percentage points. They also requested that if domestic content bonus points can be claimed, is reduced simply for using tax exempt financing, they should be eliminated for nontaxable entities, such as Indian tribal governments and their entities. Commenters requested that the Department eliminate the essential government test to be treated equally as other governments. Next slide, please. 

This slide is about the new clean vehicle tax credits to car dealers. Tribal commenters requested that Treasury specify when tribes would license a dealer, for example, if such tribal licenses could be travel business licenses at a dealership on tribal lands they already possess. Other tribal commenters requested that Treasury require a tribal license for dealers on tribal lands. I know we want to get to questions, so I think we can go to the next slide and start taking questions from the audience. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you very much, US Treasury and all the participants. We have a lot of questions coming in. So before we get into these, is there an email that we can use that we could send these to? Because we're going to try to keep Q&A to 10 minutes. But I just want people to have their questions answered because this is a very important topic and there's a lot of complexity to it. 

So is there a general email that some of these folks could send to if we don't get to that question? And I don't know-- 

FATIMA ABBAS: Sorry. I think I was on mute. You can send questions to Treasury dot-- sorry, tribal.consult@treasury.gov. That's our general address for tribal inquiries and we will get them routed to the IRA implementation team. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. And what was that again? I'm sorry. 

FATIMA ABBAS: Tribal.consult@treasury.gov, and I'll get it emailed to you. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. I was going to put it in to the audience here, too. So it's tribal.consult@treasury.gov. All right. 

OK. To start off with questions, we had a question come in about is there a cap on the credits in lieu of. So let's see here. Krishna, would you be able to answer that? 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Sure. There is no-- other than for the allocated credit that Anisha spoke about, for any other credits there are no caps. I mean, there are caps for consumers who purchase the vehicles. But if we're talking about power facilities or electricity facilities, there is no actual cap. It's just a percentage of the costs of placing the facility in service. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. So for the direct pay, there would be no cap? 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: There's no special cap for direct pay because the direct pay amount is what the tax credit would have been. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thanks. There was a question about-- let's see here-- about-- man, there's so many-- about car dealerships are charging premiums for certain vehicles. And sometimes that would nullify the tax credits that are coming out. And so is there anything, a mechanism in place that ensures vendors are doing their part to make the electric vehicles affordable? I'm not sure if the US Treasury has any insight into that. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: So it depends. So the different credits have different amounts and requirements. If we're talking about the 30D credit, the vehicle, if it's just a regular passenger vehicle, a sedan, if you will, there's an MSRP cap of $55,000. And if it's an SUV or a pickup or a van or similar vehicle, there's an MSRP cap of $80,000. And you might have read in the press that certain companies are trying to refigure out their pricing in order to qualify their vehicles for credits. 

BRANDON KIGER: Got it. And if you're able, can you explain further on how the tax deduction for nontaxable entities work. Like, if a tribe hired a contractor for an energy efficient building, can they transfer that credit? And could it save them money by negotiating costs on the contract with a tax deduction? That's a very loaded question, but can you talk through that? 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Yeah. There's a whole existing set of rules and processes for that. Essentially under the regulations, there would be a transfer of this amount. It's a deduction, so it's not technically a tax credit. But whatever that amount is, there is a process under IRS guidance and regulations whereby at the end of the building project, if you will, the governmental entity would have to sign some sort of letter to and provide that to the designer or architect or other eligible taxable entity that could then just claim that amount on their tax return. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you for clarifying. Another question related to energy generation incentives. When will energy generation incentives be paid out to tribes or customers? I think you hinted at the IRS is kind of looking into this right now? 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Yeah. So I'm not entirely sure what counts these incentives. But essentially, other than the allocated credit amount that I'll get to in a second, or maybe Anisha can handle that one, most of these other incentives are not going to-- they're based on a taxable year concept, generally. So for example, in the case of tribal government, if they were to build a project, and say got completed in 2023, there would be a procedure after its completion to file a selection. And to the extent the project qualified, there would be a payment provided by the IRS. 

But I think one thing that's important with regard to this selective payment, the one thing to make clear is this is the opposite of a grant-type of mechanism. This is post-construction funding. It's not pre-construction funding in general. But then I'll turn it over to Anisha if she wants to talk about the allocated credit amounts. 

ANISHA STEEPHEN: Sorry, I was muted. Krishna, I think you covered it. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: OK. That's good. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK, I'm going-- we're going to do two more questions before we finalize the US Treasury panelists. There was a question on definition, and it relates to how are you defining energy communities. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Yeah, I can take this one. So the statute has three general sort of categories that we now then have to figure out what exactly, what actual geographic areas fit into that. So there's a whole process that we are embarking on to do that. But the general categories are areas that are brownfields under the CERCLA statute, areas where there's been a certain level of unemployment that's greater than the national average of unemployment, or areas where 25% of the revenues have come from, I'll say just for speed quickly, fossil fuel-type industries. And then there is also a third category where the particular area is in proximity to a closed coal mine or a power facility that was coal-powered over certain periods of time, over the last decade or so. 

And so those are the three general areas. We're working to with other colleagues in the US government to figure out what exactly the geographic areas are for energy communities, and we'll be putting out more information on that. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thank you. And one last question. Do Indian lands have to be in trust to be eligible for that 10% credit? 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: I don't have an answer on that at this point. So I don't want to say something that could be totally wrong. Yeah. 

BRANDON KIGER: So maybe have them direct it to the email that you provided us, to the tribal-- OK. Well, this was very-- there's a lot going on here. So thank you very much, US Treasury and all the participants. 

And if you look at the chat box, audience, there is the email there, tribal.consult@treasury.gov. Email if we didn't get to your question today. But we are going to move on to the rest of the presenters. And just, again, thank you, US Treasury, for providing some more clarification and overview over the IRA. 

KRISHNA VALLABHANENI: Thank you. 

BRANDON KIGER: And now we are going to move on to Andi Mirviss, who will be discussing about the EECBG formula grants. Andi, you are welcome to take over when your slides are up. 

ANDI MIRVISS: OK. Good afternoon, everyone, or good morning, depending on where you are calling in from. And thank you for-- OK, let me start over. I'm not sure if you all heard that very brief introduction. So I will restart. 

Good afternoon or good morning to you, depending on where you are calling in from. Thank you very much for attending today's meeting. My name is Andi Mirviss, and I'm going to speak to you this afternoon about the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, or EECBG, which is a flexible formula grant run through the Department of Energy. This grant will reach over 2,700 eligible tribal nations, states, and territories, and local governments. Next slide, please. 

Great. Before I dive into the specifics of the grant, I'd like to set up just a little bit of context. The Biden-Harris administration knows that there is no greater challenge facing our nation and our planet than climate change. And as you may know, the administration has the ambitious goals to achieve a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and a 100% clean energy economy with net zero emissions by no later than 2050. 

And so DOE, or Department of Energy, plays an essential role in this climate mission and is investing billions of dollars into transitioning the US to a clean energy economy. And specifically, DOE is focusing much of that investment into underrepresented and energy burdened communities. Next slide. 

So to achieve these goals, the Department of Energy has expanded our focus from basic science and research, which is the bulk of the work that the Department of Energy has done for the past several decades, into demonstrating and deploying real energy solutions in communities all over the US. And so this requires the development of an office focused on that deployment, which we now call the Office of State and Community Energy Programs, or SCEP. 

SCEP's goal is to be the nation's front door to the Department of Energy. So we want to be the first point of access for communities to help them find assistance and energy programs that can advance their clean energy goals. SCEP manages a portfolio of nearly $16 billion in funding that comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and annual appropriations. Next slide, please. 

So to that end, I am very pleased to introduce the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, or EECBG, which we formally launched exactly a week ago last Wednesday. Next slide. 

OK. So what is the EECBG program? Well, the EECBG program was initially authorized in 2007. However, this is only the second time that it's received a specific appropriation from Congress. This go around, Congress appropriated $550 million to the EECBG program for fiscal year 2022, and these funds will remain available until extended. 

The program is primarily a formula grant program that provides federal grants to Indian tribes, states, and local governments to assist them in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, total energy use, and improve their energy efficiency. DOE will provide formula grant funding directly to tribes local governments and states that serve nearly 250 million Americans, approximately 75% of the total US population. And as a reminder, a formula grant means that if you are eligible for the grant by population size, you will receive funding. It is not a competitive program. Next slide, please. 

OK. So who is eligible? 774 tribes are eligible to receive grants from the EECBG program so this includes all 580 federally recognized tribes, 182 Alaska Native village corporations, and 12 Alaska Native regional corporations. Allocations for formula grants from the EECBG program are based on the authorizing legislation, which in this case is the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, also known as EISA. 

So those are the tribes that are eligible for formula grant funding, but there is still opportunity for tribes who are not eligible for formula grant funding to pursue EECBG funds, and they can do so through two avenues. They can apply for the competitive grants of which $8.8 million in funding will be available. State-recognized Indian tribes may also apply as consortia. So you can apply for the competitive grant as a single entity or you can apply as a group. And we will be releasing more information about the competitive grant later this spring. Next slide, please. 

So as you can see the majority of the EECBG program funding is allocated via formula grants to tribes local governments and states across the US. This breakdown in allocations between tribes, state governments, and local governments was determined by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. And as required by law, we published the EECBG program allocation formulas in the Federal Register in June. So I will drop the link in the chat so you can check out your eligibility-- or your allocation at that point, if you are interested. And if not, it is accessible on our website. 

Also, just as a reminder, 2% of the total appropriation is set aside for competitive grants if you are not eligible for formula grant funding. And then finally, as noted on this slide, prior to distributing funding to EECBG-eligible entities, the Department of Energy will utilize $100 million to ensure the delivery of an effective program. And specifically, that means we will earmark funds to provide technical assistance to eligible entities throughout the lifetime of the program. So we are investing very much not just in providing funding, but also in ensuring that there's ample technical assistance to make sure that funding allocations are used to the best of their capacity. Next slide, please. 

So one of the best things about the EECBG program is its flexibility. We know that what works in one place might not work in another, depending on natural resources and different local norms and needs. And so to that end, there is a wide range of eligible uses for the EECBG program funding. There are 15 activity areas outlined in law, and they cover a truly broad range of projects and programs. 

For example, eligible activities range from creating and developing energy efficiency and conservation strategies, deploying technologies that reduce emissions and generate renewable electricity. You can use the funds to create an energy strategy with measurable goals. You can conduct energy audits in your community. You can make streetlights more efficient, or you can install renewable energy technology, like solar panels on buildings, so really a wide range. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also creates a new activity area to pursue more renewable energy and sustainable transportation activities. So it's a little bit different than last time or expanded from last time. And for example, you can use EECBG funds to build out electric vehicle infrastructure, or to deploy community solar to serve underserved or disadvantaged areas that do not otherwise have access to clean energy. 

So we encourage you to think carefully about the best ways to invest these funds so that they might lead to additional funding down the road. There's obviously a lot of money, which you have recently heard about, thinking about how you might kind of prepare to use these funds to prepare for additional clean energy funding. You want to be careful to make sure it leads to the maximum clean energy outcomes. And of course, we hope that you will use the funds to advance towards just transition to clean energy. 

So there's a lot more information about allowable activities that you can use the funds for in section 2.2 of our application instructions. And DOE will be publishing more detailed program guidance on the allowable activities in the coming weeks. I'll also note that for those of you that are looking for some additional support on where to focus your funding, we will be publishing a set of program blueprints, which are evidence-based ideas and roadmaps to help you guide and decision making towards what might be the best fit for you, depending on your funding allocation and your local resources. And I will speak to that more later in the presentation. Next slide, please. 

So to design the program, we conducted extensive stakeholder feedback. And one of the most consistent things we heard was that managing a federal grant can be truly burdensome, especially for those that have less experience managing federal grants, or have limited staff capacity and resources. And so one of the ways that we work to reduce this administrative burden is by offering vouchers. 

You have the option to choose a voucher for either technical assistance or equipment rebates, or some combination thereof, but you will need to choose a voucher or a grant, not both. For technical assistance, vouchers will be used to access support from experts across a wide array of high-value opportunities in energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, et cetera. You can think of technical assistance as helping not just with choosing and advising on technology and strategy, but also in policy planning and program design, building retrofits planning and design, and community engagement and stakeholder engagement. 

So that's one side of the house technical assistance. Another side of the house is with equipment purchase and installation rebates, so vouchers for equipment rebates, essentially. And those will be for a wide range of clean energy technologies, such as efficient materials and technologies used to retrofit buildings, like HVAC equipment, air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, windows, doors, insulation, other weatherization materials, equipment for renewing energy installations, like wind, solar, and storage, and electric vehicle and electric vehicle infrastructure. So again, you can apply for a traditional federal grant or you can pursue a voucher, either for technical assistance or as a rebate for purchasing clean energy equipment. Next slide, please. 

So why might you consider a voucher over a grant? Fundamentally, because we believe that the streamlined method will reduce your administrative burden while still making sure that you have access to technical assistance and the equipment that you want. And so DOE is recommending that all eligible entities-- states, local governments, and tribes that are receiving less than $250,000 as part of their application-- consider the voucher option. And there are a couple of main benefits that I'll highlight here. 

The first is that tribes choosing the voucher option will submit a separate application, which is dramatically streamlined and involves reduced documentation. We expect that it will require significantly less time to submit the voucher application as it will to the grant application. Secondly, there are fewer startup steps. For example, tribes that have never managed a federal grant will not be required to establish the financial management systems, like accounting for federal funds, invoicing, and internal audits that are typically required for compliance with a federal grant. 

Next, you can expect a much faster turnaround time to process your application. So DOE will process the voucher applications at least 30 days more quickly than they will with grant applications. Additionally, you can expect significantly less administrative burden over time. So governments that choose vouchers will have less monitoring and reporting requirements compared to those administering a federal grant. 

And finally, voucher recipients will get expedited support and access to equipment. So tribes that select vouchers will get direct and expedited support from clean energy experts. And if they choose an equipment rebate, they can cut down on the procurement process for equipment purchase and installation on a wide range of technologies that I mentioned above. So strongly encourage you to consider using vouchers. Next slide, please. 

In addition to providing direct funding to tribes through grants, DOE has also created a series of blueprints or step-by-step evidence-based processes that tribes can follow to streamline EECBG funding implementation. So these comprehensive blueprints not only spark inspiration for what to do-- they can help you think about how you might use your fund-- but they also provide clear outlines for how to do it, and they are aligned to the eligible uses of funding outlined in law that I mentioned earlier today. Further, they're designed around high-impact evidence-based activities that are proven to unlock greater investment down the road, and they have really important considerations, such as equity, jobs, and workforce development and competitiveness baked in. 

So that's a little bit of a summary, and another kind of reason that you might consider using a blueprint is that tribes pursuing blueprints can expect expedited timelines in their application reviews as well as other benefits, like webinars, that kind of collective support, to make sure that you have what you need to implement the blueprints. Next slide, please. 

So we also are encouraging tribes and local governments to consider teaming up to help stretch EECBG dollars. Teams require a minimum of two eligible entities to pair up, but they can certainly be expanded beyond that. So this could reduce some of the application burden as well if you decide to team, as you only need to submit one application. 

You can opt to go in together for vouchers or for grants. And again, you would only need to submit one application for that, although each entity would be responsible for managing their own grant. This is really a particularly good option if you aim to pursue a regional approach that you think will benefit multiple communities. So an example for that might be a workforce development program that you expect folks from around my local area might all benefit from. Next slide, please. 

So I'll just give a little bit of a summary of the application process and timeline. The most important thing for you to know is that you have a year to decide how you want to use these funds. The last day for tribes to apply is January 31, 2024. Yes, I should qualify, you have a year and a week, so plenty of time. 

But there are a few things to keep in mind should you want to access the funds sooner than that. We have four quarterly application periods ending in April, July, October, and January. And so as long as you apply within those application periods, you'll have access to expedited funding or vouchers. 

And there's no competitive reason to apply sooner rather than later. As long as you are eligible for the funds and you plan to apply them in an eligible activity area, you will have access to them. But of course, the sooner that you apply, the sooner that you will be able to drawdown your funds. 

And just as a kind of summary note, tribes pursuing vouchers and blueprints can expect their applications to be reviewed within 60 days. If you're pursuing a traditional grant, it will be longer than that. Additionally, some topical areas can expect expedited reviews, so those are the applications that include teams, that are focusing on investing in disadvantaged communities, that focus on building strategies or pursuing technical consulting, and those that are focused on stakeholder engagement. Next slide, please. 

So what do you need to know to apply? This slide is a summary of the main information about the application process. So the first thing to share is that, technically, you can apply today and you can access information about the application on our website. I'll to make sure that there are links dropped into the chat as well. 

Now, that is only true for the grant. So you cannot apply for the voucher quite yet. We are still working on getting that application up on our site. 

If you choose to pursue a grant, there are several pre-application steps that can help to get set up in our system. It just takes about a month to get registered, and so we recommend that you do some of these more administrative tasks, like registering in the System for Award Management and then FedConnect as soon as possible if you prefer, or if you choose to pursue a grant because it does take some time to set up. 

But regardless of whether or not you are pursuing a grant or a voucher, you are required to complete a pre-award information sheet and return it by the end of April. And this is basically just intended to help our team plan and prepare so that we can best-- very quickly process your application, make sure that you're paired with our project officer, and get everything set up internally. It's a very light list and it's due at the end of April. 

It's also non-binding. So if you click on the link and aren't sure if you'd want to pursue a grant or a voucher, that's totally fine. But we just want sort of your contact information and to be able to get ready to set up the system so that when you know what you want to do, we are ready to accommodate you. 

And so two main application deadlines, just to make sure everyone hears, regardless of what you are applying for, you need to submit the pre-award information sheet by April 28, 2023. And you are required to submit your application by January 31, 2024. Of course, if you would like to submit sooner than that, you're welcome to, and we will process your application and get you that funding as quickly as possible. Next slide, please. 

So a couple additional details about the program. And I know I'm running up on time, so I'll speak quickly here. Grants and vouchers will consist of a period of about two years. If you need longer than that, you can apply for a cost-free extension, and you can do that with your DOE officer, project officer. 

Unlike previous federal programs, there's no cost share agreement to apply. It's really just about making sure that it's a legally eligible activity area. You are also entitled to spend up to 10% or $75,000 on the administrative cost of administering the work that you have chosen to do. 

And additionally, all eligible entities are required to submit an energy efficiency and conservation strategy as part of your application. I just highlight that as a key part of the application that everyone will be required to do, and we have templates for that on our website. If you already have a clean energy strategy, that's great. You can just submit that and just include a section about how EECBG will effectively kind of nestle into that, or you can use our template if you prefer, which is a very straightforward document to help you apply. Next slide, please. 

So how will the SCEP office support you through this process? So during the application period, we'll be hosting several webinars to help you think through the best way to design either your voucher program or your grant. So we'll be hosting a specific webinar about vouchers and technical assistance, and which you might pursue. We'll have a very technical webinar helping you understand the application process. We'll have one as well about Justice40 and ways to translate EECBG into a vehicle for a more just energy transition, as well as some others. 

We'll also be providing support, if you would like it, in developing that EECS strategy document. And I'll also note, we'll be doing a slightly deeper dive on this presentation on February 2 at 1:00 PM specifically for tribes, so keep an eye out for emails about that. We'd love to have you join us. A lot of the information that I've shared will be similar, but we'll have more information than I can provide in 20 minutes. 

As well, I want to talk a little bit about the type of support that DOE will be providing during the implementation of your grant. So we are committed, as I mentioned at the top of this, to providing ample technical assistance to make sure that you're able to use the grant as effectively as you would like to. And so in summary, there are a couple of things that are crucial to that we'll be there for you, such as those blueprints I mentioned, some online tools we're developing. We're also working on collating a group of experts to host collective learning sessions about best practice and troubleshooting. We'll be hosting webinars and workshops, and we'll be providing peer learning opportunities. 

So we will be open and available to you throughout the process. And if you could advance to the next slide, I'll just mention two additional ways that you can connect with us. So there is a EECBG-specific inbox that we manage, and we check it daily and we try to respond-- we prioritize and try to respond as quickly as we can, not always on a daily basis. But you are welcome to write to that at any time. 

We also, if you are specifically interested in the competitive grants because you are ineligible for the formula grant, please write to the community@hq.doe.gov inbox. We do have to keep them separate so that we can make sure that information is fairly shared about the competitive grant. 

I'll also mention that we are piloting weekly office hours. So this is something we'll be trying in the next couple of months or so, but we'll be piloting open office hours for you to come in, ask questions, get help with your grant development, and see different ways that we can be supportive to you. But we will be kind of changing the format of that subject to need and what makes sense. So kind keep an eye out for comments about that, but we're piloting it, so I want to make sure you understand that that's the process. Next slide, please. 

OK. And I think I'm running up on time, so just the five kind of main things for you to know before you apply. The first is, do be sure to check out your eligibility and funding amount, and you can see that on our website. The next thing you might want to do is decide if you want to pursue a grant or a voucher, and keep an eye out for webinars from us on that. 

You'll want to make sure that your project or program that you pursue is eligible by law, eligible for funding. And then, of course, if you decide to pursue the grant, go ahead and take those pre-application steps on our website so that you can get set up for when you're ready to submit the grant. And then, of course, everyone that is eligible, whether it is a state, local government, tribe pursuing a grant or a voucher is required to submit that pre-award information sheet. So mark that in your calendar. The due date is April 28. 

And I will pause there. I think I'm just that time, maybe a little bit over. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thank you, Andi, for sharing the EECBG formula grant information for us. And just as a reminder, we'll be answering some of these questions at the very end of this webinar. And if we don't get to them, she did provide-- Andi did provide an email that you can write. And if you don't have the links to the or emails to those, those will be posted on our webinar website, so on the Office of Indian Energy website. 

Next, we have Homari Aoki, who will be discussing grid resilience formula grants. Homari, you can go ahead and begin. 

HOMARI AOKI: Thank you. Good morning and good afternoon, wherever you may be. This presentation will cover another formula grant, this time for the energy resilience projects available for Indian tribes. 

My name is Homari Aoki, and I am a Program and Management Analyst with the Grid Deployment Office. Next slide, please. 

Today's presentation will focus mainly on the Grid Resilience Formula Grant. I'll provide an overview of this grant as well as highlight additional funding opportunities within the Grid Deployment Office. I'll go over some key actions that must be completed prior to the application deadline that is coming up and provide tips for how to complete the application. Next slide, please. 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that has been mentioned previously, provided DOE with several types of grid resilience funding. All of the funding opportunities are for a five-year program. I'll primarily be speaking on the first one, which is the Grid Resilience Formula Grant. 

This is a noncompetitive grant, much like EECBG, and it's available for projects preventing outages and enhancing grid resiliency for the electric grid. $2.3 billion are available for a five-year period. And we're currently accepting submissions for this grant until March 31, 2023, for both fiscal year 2022 and 2023 funding allocations. So there's two years of funding that are available by that deadline for states, US territories, and Indian tribes, including Alaska Native regional corporations and village corporations. 

The BIL also has funding available for the Grid Resilience innovation Partnership program. Just over $10 billion is available through the GRIP program for three separate topics. The Grid Resilience industry grants can be used for similar investments as the formula grant, but are geared toward industry and utility applicants. 

Smart grid grants are available to enhance grid flexibility, and the grid innovation program provides funding for innovative approaches to enhance grid resiliency. And Indian tribes are eligible to apply for the last two programs as well, but they are competitive. Recognizing that entities may apply to multiple grants, DOE has staggered these deadlines. Next slide, please. 

Before I go into detail, I wanted to highlight some of the key components of the formula grant for grid resilience. As mentioned, this is a noncompetitive grant for projects reducing the likelihood and consequences of electrical outages due to extreme weather, wildfire, and natural disasters. The upcoming deadline is March 31 for the first two years of funding. And if you apply by this deadline, you'll be able to secure the funding. 

Applications don't need to identify specific projects just yet, and those projects can be specified after the funding is awarded. And we also have specific-- we have sample application templates and resources available to assist tribes to make this process as easy as possible. Next slide. 

With that, I would like to dive deeper into the formula grant. This is a unique opportunity for Indian tribes to address their all-hazards resilience needs and economic development and grid modernization through an objectives-led planning process. The goals of the Grid Resilience formula grant are similar to EECBG's, with the four strategic goals of this financial assistance which align with the administration and Congress's objectives, which include improving energy resilience and mitigating climate-related risk, investing in grid modernization infrastructure, investing in clean energy and decarbonization solutions, as well as creating good paying jobs. Next slide, please. 

So for fiscal year 2022, a total of $96 million is available for Indian tribes, while $85 million will be available each year for fiscal year 2023 to 2026. Allocations are listed on our funding application website. Those links should be in the chat. 

We also have a QR code on the screen that will send you to the site, or you could use the URL on the screen as well. The website also includes a link to the application. Similar to EECBG's formula grant, all federally recognized tribes, including Alaska Native regional corporations, Alaska Native village corporations have been allocated funding through this program, and the majority of tribes will have between $100,000 to $500,000 in funding available to them for the first two years of funding, and that ranges from $50,000 up to $5 million. And for this formula grant, each Indian tribe would need to submit their own application. Next slide, please. 

So for this particular formula grant, the funding allocations have been determined through a five-part formula. Each funding application was determined by a formula based on land area of the Indian tribe, the probability of disruptive events, the severity of disruptive events, population, and prior expenditures on mitigation efforts. So that is how you would see the differences between the funding allocations for each tribe. Next slide, please. 

So with this funding opportunity, these funds can be used for resilience investments, and the statute highlights 12 potential investments that are listed on the screen, which range from utility pool management, hardening and undergrounding of equipment, to vegetation and fuel load management, among others. These investments can be tailored to your community's needs and your specific geography. 

However, it is important to highlight that there are a few projects that the funding cannot be used for, and they're worth mentioning. The first one is that no new electric generation is allowed. So investments, including solar panels or any other electric generation, would not be an eligible project. 

The second one is that energy storage could be installed, but only if it is used to continue the supply of electricity through a disruptive event. So you would need that justification in order for that to be an eligible investment. And finally, cybersecurity investments are also prohibited. And those are just three investments that we get questions about a lot, but the rest are potential eligible investments. Next slide, please. 

To execute the grid resilience projects, tribes must submit to the following eligible entities, which include electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, and any of the other eligible entities that are listed on the slide. There are cost match requirements for both the tribe as well as the eligible entity or the subgrantee, and both would need to be fulfilled. So that is something to keep in mind. Next slide, please. 

With the federal funding award, up to 5% can be used for technical assistance and program administration. These funds can also be used to facilitate the distribution of information to reduce the likelihood and consequences of disruptive events. This 5% could also be given to a third party to provide this technical and administrative support. 

I've included an example on the right of a sample $100,000 award. In this case, 5% or $5,000 could be used for the technical assistance and administration, leaving $95,000 for the resilience project itself. Next slide, please. 

A 15% cost match is required for the grant recipient, in this case, an Indian tribe. Cash, as well as in-kind contributions, such as staff time, can be used as cost match. This cost match could potentially be provided by other entities if they are willing to help. 

Some tribes have found other entities to help provide the cost match, including their utility or their state. It depends on their location. And most federal funding cannot be used to fulfill the cost match requirements, and this would include any of the staff time that may be paid by a federal source. Next slide, please. 

The 15% cost match could be used to also provide technical assistance and program administration. So in the previous $100,000 award example, that would increase the funding for technical assistance and administration to $20,000. The tribal cost match could also be used for the resilience projects as well. Next slide, please. 

There is a second cost match requirement for the eligible entity or subgrantee. The cost match requirements for the sub grantee are 100% of the amount of the subgrant. However, if the entity is considered a small utility which sells less than 4 million megawatt hours of electricity per year, then their cost match would be 1/3 of the amount awarded. So you can see on the screen, both the large subgrantee and small grantee subgrant costs, as well as how that would affect the total investment funding available for the grid Resilience. Projects. Next slide, please. 

With the upcoming March 31 deadline, there are two key application components that must be submitted, the program narrative and the head of government letter. The program narrative should describe the process used to select the projects and the eligible entities after the grants are awarded. I'll go into more detail in the next two slides, but there is a sample program narrative that was developed after some feedback from some tribes and it's available on our website. Applicants are welcome to pull selections from the sample program narrative and use them word for word if it applies to your application. 

The second component is the head of government letter, which gives permission to apply on behalf of the tribe. There are several other additional components, including some forms that are standard for federal funding requests and a couple other forms that are straightforward. But I wanted to highlight these two key components. Next slide, please. 

And I think we'll have a link in the chat on the sample program narrative that you can take a look at. So coming back to the program narrative, there are several key items that must be included, which include provisional objectives and metrics, criteria for selecting subgrant projects, the methods of solicitation of projects and distribution of funds. There's also information about the projects, on how the projects will ensure equity, and how the technical assistance and administration funds will be used. 

And then finally and most importantly, there needs to be evidence of public notice and hearing on the program narrative itself. And if you take a look at the link that is hopefully in the chat, you can see the level of detail that we require for the program narrative. It should be high level without including any specific information on the resilience projects themselves. 

And it's very short. It's about five pages long. If the program narrative is kept at a high level, this will allow tribes to change the projects after the March 31 deadline if they already have projects in mind. And it's worth noting that an eligible applicant or tribe could wait and accumulate multiple years of funding in order to complete a larger project. 

In this case, this detail should be included in the program narrative, and applicants would still need to apply by the March 31 deadline in order to get the first two years of funding. If you do not apply, the funds would be placed back into the larger pool of funds for all Indian tribes, and then those funds would be redistributed in fiscal year 2024 next slide, please. 

So I wanted to highlight the two key actions that need to be completed prior to the March 31 deadline, the public notice and the public hearing. Before you write the program narrative, these two are required to be conducted. The public hearing should discuss what is included in the program narrative. And there's no requirements on the manner in which the public notice and public hearing are conducted, so they can be in a form that is in line with your tribe's needs. It can be in person, it can be hybrid, it can be virtual, or it can be a hybrid of those two. 

This must occur before the March 31 deadline, so it's important to get the ball rolling. But once this is completed, you would not need to do this each year. But in order for you to use the same program narrative public notice and hearing each year, you would need to specify that these items are for multiple years of funding, and then that would allow you to use the same materials for future funding cycles. Next slide, please. 

Applications can be accessed through the QR code on the screen or the URL. Additional application resources are also available through the website, including some frequently asked questions, and sample documents and forms. I will stay here for a second so anyone who wants to go to the website has the chance to do so. It is energy.gov/gdo/gridresilience. And then finally, next slide, please. 

I wanted to emphasize that the Grid Resilience Formula Grant is noncompetitive. If an application is submitted but it's missing a component or it requires clarification, our project officers will work with applicants to update their submissions. So we have some flexibility and we're able to work with you on your applications to make sure that they are filled out correctly. And applying by the March 31 deadline will give applicants access to two years of funding and help set them up for an additional three years of funding. 

We're happy to answer your questions at the end of the webinar, and you're welcome to send us an email well. And we're always happy to provide additional clarification. We are also planning to have our own webinar on February 9 at 2:00 PM Eastern time. Hopefully there is a link for the registration in the chat. And with that, I thank you for your time. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thank you, Homari. Our next presenter-- and we'll be taking questions at the end of this webinar on the remaining presenters. Our next presenter is Kassie Grimes, and she will be discussing the new Buildings UP prize. Kassie, you may begin once your slides are up. 

And just a quick note to the audience, there is going to be a video playing in this presentation. And if you are called in through your phone, you may not hear it. But I will be posting the link to the video in the chat box, so you can look for that video there. 

KASSIE GRIMES: Thank you, Brandon. And hello, everyone. I'm grateful to be here and to share an exciting new prize competition focused on transforming existing buildings across the country, the Buildings Upgrade Prize, also known as Buildings UP for short. Next slide, please. 

The prize is funded by the Building Technologies Office within the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and it's being administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. We also have several organizations providing technical assistance, as shown here. Next slide, please. 

For today's webinar, I'll provide some high-level information about the prize goals, eligibility for the prize, the available cash and technical assistance prizes available, and where to go for more information and to apply. Next slide, please. 

I'd like to first show a video our team has put together that gives an overview of the prize. Can we please pull up the video? 

Thank you. So the Buildings Upgrade Prize was just launched last week, and it's a prize designed to accelerate the deployment of equitable widespread energy efficiency and efficient electrification upgrades in existing buildings. Prizes are available for 20 to 60 winning applicants, which we refer to as teams, to join a cooperative competition, or what we're referring to as a coopetition, which I'll give more of a description about later on. We envision the prize to consist of four phases over five years, but this is subject to funding and approvals. Next slide. 

We know that upgrading existing buildings will help reduce carbon emissions and energy costs while improving indoor air quality and occupant comfort. To meet our ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, existing buildings across a wide variety of uses, sizes, vintages, and climates must be upgraded at a scale and pace we have never seen before. We have the technologies available to get there. We have efficient electric equipment, like heat pumps and heat pump water heaters, and building efficiency measures, such as insulation and air sealing, but we need to make these technologies more accessible. Only about 1% to 2% of buildings in the country are retrofitted for energy upgrades each year, which isn't fast enough. 

With rebates and incentives available and recent federal legislation combined with other utility and local offerings, building upgrades can be made more affordable and accessible than ever. Buildings UP aims to address persistent barriers to improving building energy efficiency and reducing on-site emissions. The prize specifically seeks to support ideas and solutions that accelerate building upgrades beyond current best practices; demonstrate scalability and replicability for a particular building type, climate zone, or community; advance holistic and lasting initiatives that can continue their momentum beyond the prize; and ensure that at least 40% of initiative benefits accrue to what we refer to in this prize as equity eligible buildings, which include low and moderate income households, non-profit and public buildings, their occupants, and surrounding communities. And the definition for equity eligible buildings is available in our prize documentation, which is on the website that will be shared later on in this presentation. Next slide. 

Buildings UP invites tribes, community-based organizations, non-federal government entities, and other organizations, all of you participating in this webinar, to apply. Teams made up of multiple organizations or entities are encouraged, but not required. Next slide, please. 

The first phase of Buildings UP offers $22 million in prizes and technical assistance for 20 to 60 winning teams. Submissions for phase 1 will open on February 18, and applications are due July 18. Although the application portal for phase one is not yet open, the rules and criteria to get ready for your submission is already available on the website. An application support prize is currently open for submissions from new at under-resourced applicants, which I'll share more details about later on in this presentation. Next slide. 

Buildings UP is envisioned to consist of four phases over five years, subject to funding and approvals. We are currently in phase 1 of the prize, where applicants are asked to submit a building upgrade initiative concept. The technical assistance portion of the prize for phase 1 winners will take place during phase 2 to help teams build out their concepts from phase 1 into actionable building upgrade initiatives throughout the rest of the prize. Next slide. 

This slide provides a close-up view of the first phase of Buildings UP and the important relevant dates. Phase 1 submissions are due July 18, and winners will be announced in September or October. The application support prize is available right now and during phase 1 and has rolling submission deadlines of February 15, March 15, and April 14. Technical assistance for application support prizewinners will also be provided on a rolling basis. Next slide. 

Buildings UP applicants are asked to select one of two pathways. The equity-centered Innovation Pathway will award $400,000 in cash prizes for each winning team. For this pathway, teams will commit at least 80% of their building upgrade initiative implementation on equity-eligible building upgrades. The open Innovation Pathway will award $200,000 in cash prizes for each winning team. For this pathway, applicants may focus on equity-eligible buildings, but they are not required to. 

For both pathways, teams will submit a concept for an initiative that can achieve scalability and replicability of building upgrades in a specified geographic area or building type. Technical assistance to build out concept submissions into implementation plans will be provided to all winning teams in both pathways. 

This prize funding won't pay for many building upgrades on its own, but it can pay for capacity building for dedicated staff in your organizations and communities to focus on developing innovative upgrade initiatives that leverage other sources of funding from federal and local sources. It can pay for community engagement efforts to understand and respond to the needs of the building occupants we hope to reach with upgrades. Subsequent phases are envisioned to offer similar prizes to help teams pilot and implement their building upgrade initiatives. Teams selected during phase 1 will be invited to continue participating in future phases of the prize. Next slide. 

Winning teams from both pathways will have access to an ecosystem of expert technical assistance and coaching to help bring their concept submissions to light. Teams will receive assistance with things like working with community partners to develop upgrade initiatives that truly meet the needs of building occupants, bringing funding from multiple sources to pay for upgrades in low income households, connecting with and leveraging philanthropic support, developing communications materials, building an inclusive local workforce to complete upgrades, and support to facilitate new connections and partnerships within the project team. Each winning team will also have a regional navigator who will meet with them regularly and help guide them to the right technical assistance at the right time. Winning teams will be part of the Buildings UP network, where they can learn from experts and from one another, hence the coopetition. Next slide. 

If the very idea of filling out an application for federal funding seems daunting or if you've been unsuccessful applying for funding in the past, we've got you. Buildings UP includes an application support bonus prize for new and under-resourced teams. Qualifying teams can apply for one of 50 prizes of $5,000 and 10 hours of technical assistance to help them complete a phase 1 submission. The application support price is now open and will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are expended, so I encourage folks to apply as early as you can. Next slide. 

This slide provides a summary of the important dates and prizes for phase 1 of Buildings UP. An important date to point out is the phase 1 application support round 1 submission date of February 15, and we encourage interested applicants to apply early. Next slide. 

More information about the prize, the official rules, and frequently asked questions are available on the Buildings UP HeroX website that's referenced here. We will be holding live virtual information sessions throughout phase 1, as well as training sessions for all applicants related to the different sections of the application during phase 1. Updates and registration for these sessions will be regularly posted to the HeroX website. 

We are also seeking technical assistance providers to support winning teams after the teams are selected in phase 1. If you or anyone in your networks are interested in applying to the request for proposal process to be a technical assistance provider, information about applying will be made available and posted to HeroX soon. Next slide. 

So I hope you're interested in competing in building UP. And if you are, I encourage you to head to the HeroX page available at the link shown here and by QR code to follow the prize, read the rules, and apply for the application support prize. Also save the date and register on HeroX for a more in-depth information session on the Building Upgrade Prize. We will walk through the eligibility of the different building types, the scoring criteria, and more information about the available prizes. And our first one is on February 2 at 12:00 PM Eastern. 

Additional information sessions and updates will be posted regularly to HeroX. I'm happy to answer questions at the end of this webinar once we get to the Q&A portion. Please send any questions that are not addressed here to the BuildingsUP@nrel.gov email. Thank you all so much for your time. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thank you, Kassie. And finally, we have Adam DeDent, who will be discussing Build America, Buy America, a provision that everyone should be aware of. Adam, you may take over once your slides are up. 

ADAM DEDENT: Hey, everybody. Can hear me now? 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah, we can hear you now. 

ADAM DEDENT: Fantastic. OK. Well, thanks, everybody, for your attendance. I know we're sort of running up against time here, so I'll try and move quickly through this. And I'll echo what everybody else said before I start, that if you have questions that I'm not able to get to in the course of this presentation, you can send them in to the Indian Energy folks at DOE to route to the BABA team. And we're working on additional guidance. 

We're working with OMB to figure out what we can provide additional guidance on. But we don't know what people are struggling with unless they send us questions, and so we can't provide good guidance on those things unless we know what people are struggling with. So please, please, please, please send questions in if we don't get to them today. And with that, I'll go ahead and get started here. 

So the Build America, Buy America statute was recently enacted into law under the IIJA, the Infrastructure Bill. There's historically been a Buy America law on the books for the procurement side of things, but this one affects financial assistance and grants. And obviously, the overarching goal is to develop out the American manufacturing sector and supply chain. And the more that both our recipients and DOE understand about how and when it applies, because there are some steps you have to go through, the more efficient we can be with our bill and IRA execution. 

It will be slightly in flux for a while as policies and best practices are sorted. I mean, this is a brand new legal requirement that applies to all financial assistance. There are definitely some sort of niche concepts that we need to figure out to provide accurate guidance, but I think it's just going to take some time for us to iterate and get to a point where everybody knows what they're doing. Next slide, please. 

So the general principles of BABA require that all iron, steel, manufactured goods, and construction materials used in a federally funded infrastructure project are manufactured domestically. An infrastructure project is anything that involves the construction alteration, maintenance, and/or repair of public infrastructure in the United States. 

The statute defines what is considered infrastructure for these purposes, and I'll quickly read through the list here. Roads, highways, and bridges; public transportation; dams, ports, harbors, and other maritime facilities; intercity passenger and freight railroads; freight and intermodal facilities; airports; water systems, including drinking water and wastewater systems; electrical transmission facilities and systems; utilities; broadband infrastructure; buildings and real property; and structures, facilities, and equipment that generate transport and distribute energy, including EV charging. Next slide, please. 

So there are four key questions that we have to ask when we determine whether a given project needs to apply to Buy America requirements. So first, entity type. This statute only applies to non-federal entities, as that term is defined in 2 CFR 200, and that does not include for-profit entities by default. 

So it does not apply to for-profit entities as a matter of law. We have some policy applications that were sort of kicking around to get some buy in from for-profit entities, but right now it applies to nonprofit entities, state and local governments, tribal governments, things like that, just not for-profit entities. 

The next question you have to ask after you determine if it's an applicable entity type is whether the project involves construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of infrastructure, as that term is defined by BABA. The next question after that is that BABA only applies to public infrastructure, which OMB has defined as either publicly owned infrastructure or privately owned infrastructure that is primarily utilized for a public purpose, like something like a privately owned community center that is open to the public or a privately owned museum that is open to the public. Those would be considered sort of public infrastructure under this requirement. 

Finally, you have to ask whether the funding in question is considered financial assistance, as that term is defined for the Act, because this only applies to financial assistance. But the caveat there is that the statute broadened the types of assistance that agencies can provide to recipients that is considered financial assistance. It folds in loans, it folds in other types of potentially rebates, depending on the nature of the project, but sometimes rebates, sometimes not. But in general, grants, cooperative agreements, most things that you're going to receive under a lot of the programs that you've heard about here today are financial assistance, and so BABA is going to apply. 

I guess the last thing that I'll say really quickly about it is BABA only applies to equipment-- or sorry, to manufactured goods and construction materials, iron and steel, that is integrated into the infrastructure. The OMB guidance uses the term "permanently affixed." So for example, if you have a project that requires you to apply BABA, let's say that you're retrofitting a community center, and part of that retroreflectivity you have to buy scaffolding and computers and sensor equipment, none of that stuff has to comply with the domestic manufacture requirement of BABA. It's only the stuff that is getting integrated into the infrastructure, steel beams, light bulbs, solar panels, things like that. Next slide, please. 

So I got ahead of myself. So this slide starts out talking about what it does and what it doesn't apply to. So it's not going to apply to the entire award. You don't have to buy pencils that were manufactured domestically. It doesn't include tools, equipment, or supplies. It does not apply to items other than what are-- that are not an integral part of the infrastructure or which are not permanently affixed to the infrastructure. 

And one last thing is we get a lot of questions. Is this only related to Bill funds? No. It is a permanent new requirement that is going to apply well after the bill funds have all been distributed. 

This is a new federal requirement. It's tied to all federal financial assistance. All agencies are required to apply it. So for those of you who regularly apply for federal grants, you're going to be seeing a lot of this in the future. Next slide, please. 

So the Act also sort of defines what iron and steel means, what manufactured products means. How do we determine whether something is domestically manufactured to the standards required by the statute? For iron and steel, it means that all manufacturing processes, from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, must take place in the United States. 

For manufactured products, the product has to actually be manufactured in the United States. And 55% of the components of that product by cost are mined, produced, or manufactured in the US, 55% or more. So whatever the inputs are for that manufactured good, 55% of those inputs by cost have to come from a domestic source. 

And then finally, for construction materials, all manufacturing processes for the construction material occurred in the United States. That's how you determine whether it meets the requirement. Recipients will be required to obtain a certification from the manufacturer that an applicable item meets the requirements above. This may change going forward somewhat as DOE continues to develop its BABA policy. 

We're actively working with OMB to suss out best practices for our applicants. Right now, our position is we think that the applicants just need to get some sort of certification from the manufacturer, but we know that other agencies have-- some have more stringent requirements than that. So I assume that eventually the government as a whole will come to some sort of equilibrium in terms of what we require here. But for DOE purposes, all you need to know is, you'll be seeking a certification from the manufacturer. Next slide, please. 

So here's probably the hot topic of the day, waivers. There are two types of waivers under BABA. There are individual project waivers and then there are what are called general applicability waivers, which are essentially class waivers. The individual project waivers, as the name suggests, apply to an individual project and are almost always submitted by the recipient who is seeking to waive the BABA requirements for their project. 

The general applicability waiver, the class waiver, typically originates with the agency, where the agency finds a good cause to waive BABA requirements for perhaps an entire class of products or maybe an entire group of applicants. Or maybe we find, for example, that there's a product that just isn't available in the United States, and so to save our recipient at the time of having to individually submit waivers, we do a class waiver instead. 

There are three bases upon which a waiver may be justified. The first is nonavailability, which is essentially saying, the product is not available in sufficient or reasonably available quantities-- or sorry, in sufficient or reasonably available quantity or of sufficient quality. You don't have to buy junk to meet the requirement. If all that's available out there is junky steel, then you'll probably qualify for a waiver if you apply for one under the nonavailability justification. 

The next is unreasonable cost, which says that the items in question, that is, the items that have to comply with the BABA requirement, if purchased from domestic sources will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25%. That's the total project cost. So on a $4 million project, if you find that having to purchase these items domestically will increase the total project cost by $1 million or more, then you would qualify for an unreasonable cost waiver. 

These first two waiver types will probably almost always be granted by OMB. I won't say always because there are always exceptions to that rule. But there is really no wiggle room here. If it's not available or it's going to dramatically increase the total project cost, I don't see any good reason for OMB denying the waiver. 

The third is public interest, the third justification. And this is sort of applying the preference is inconsistent with the public interest, which could be for a number of reasons. This is really sort of a choose your own adventure sort of scenario. You tell us why you having to apply BABA to your project is inconsistent with the public interest. 

And that will go-- it will go through an internal review. It goes through the waiver review process with OMB, and that one is probably not guaranteed to be granted. That one, you're putting it in and you're sort of rolling the dice. But it's still an option that's available to our recipients. Next slide. 

One last thing I'll say about waivers is that the process right now is fairly long, as you might expect. The general waiver process goes like this. The recipient submits the waiver to DOE through their contracting officer or project officer. The contracting officer and project officer do a preliminary review to see what due diligence was performed by the applicant as part of their waiver. 

That goes up, and once that's approved internally through our acquisition folks or our FA folks, then it goes off to OMB, where OMB sort of takes a first look at it and gives us their feedback. Once OMB approves it, hopefully they don't kick it back for additional revisions. Once they approve it, it goes it has to be posted online for public comment for 10 days, and that will probably just happen on the DOE website. We have a Build America, Buy America web page set up that has a waiver page that shows all of the existing waivers that are in place. And that's where we'll post them for public comment. 

After the 10-day comment period, once the comments are resolved, it goes back to OMB for final approval. And then once approved, then you can apply it to your project. OMB is getting slammed right now with waiver requests, so they sort of initially had a very optimistic turnaround time on these waiver requests that's steadily gotten longer and longer. I would just, conservatively, I would plan maybe for 75 to 90 days for approval of a waiver. 

The important thing to know about the waivers, the last important thing, that is, is the project specific waivers can be granted any time before or after the award has been made. With the general applicability waivers, the class waivers, if you say, oh, look, there's a general applicability waiver on the DOE website that would apply to my project, that's so great. I don't have to do an individual project waiver. The general applicability waiver has to be in place, approved and in place, prior to your award being signed, otherwise it will not apply and you'll have to seek an individual project waiver. That's just OMB policy. We don't really have any control over that. 

So you can submit your individual project waiver any time. But if you want to take advantage of a class waiver, you need to make sure that waiver is in place before your award is signed and finalized. So that's sort of the quick overview of BABA information. I'm sure folks have a lot of questions. 

If you want to go do some independent research on BABA and its requirements, the best source of information for how agencies are going to be applying BABA right now is a memo from OMB entitled "Initial Implementation Guidance on Application of Buy America Preference in Federal Financial Assistance Programs for Infrastructure." That's really a mouthful. We just call it the M-22-11. If you just Google search OMB M-22-11, it should be the first thing that comes up. 

There's also a link here to the DOE BABA waiver page that you can access. And you can just send your-- I guess send your BABA-specific questions directly to me, and I'll make sure that we filter them through the BABA team and they're incorporated into any future guidance we might have. And with that, I will also be sticking around for a little bit to answer any questions folks might have. And thank you for your time and your attention. 

BRANDON KIGER: Thanks, Adam. So we have about approximately 10 minutes left. I know some panelists have to take off somewhat early. So I want to address some questions for both Adam and Andi first. 

So Andi, we have lots of questions for EECBG. So there was a question that came up whether-- will EECBG program support direct funding for workforce capacity, such as hiring energy managers on staff? Oh, you might be on mute. Andi? Are you there, Andi? 

ANDI MIRVISS: Hi there. Can you hear me now? 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah, I can hear you. 

ANDI MIRVISS: Sorry about that. So EECBG funds can be used to support technical assistance and can be used for hiring external contractors to provide that technical assistance. We don't have solidified eligible guidance on that specific question quite yet, but I will say, we will work on getting an answer to that question up on our website, and it's also something we'll aim to answer by our webinar that we will be hosting next Wednesday at 1:00 PM. And I'll link it in the chat to that. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you. And does any other appropriate activity include training locals to learn how to maintain solar panels or wind turbines? That's kind of a similar question, I guess, relating to capacity building. 

ANDI MIRVISS: Yeah, similar but slightly different, and I have a more specific answer on that. So programs around clean energy and clean energy education are eligible. Specifically around training locals as a new workforce development program, I don't have a specific confirm that is eligible at this time. But I do think that it is generally within an eligible activity, which is educational programming on clean energy. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you. And then another quick question. Are renewable energy or solar feasibility studies eligible? 

ANDI MIRVISS: Yes. A feasibility study or research on existing audits or potential would be eligible under EECBG. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Awesome. I know you don't have that much time. And then, Adam, I'm going to ask you a few questions because I know you have to jump off, too. So Adam, we had a question. Does BABA apply to things like copper or aluminum wire that may be attached to the particular energy project? 

ADAM DEDENT: So I would say, perhaps. That's a tough question to answer. It really boils down to whether they would be defined in this context as construction materials. If they are, then I would say, yes. They might even be they might even qualify as manufactured goods. 

So those things, any sort of inputs that are being permanently integrated into the infrastructure, the chances are that they're going to be considered eligible. They're going to have to come from a domestic source under BABA. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. And are-- 

ADAM DEDENT: Let me just-- 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah. 

ADAM DEDENT: Let me just add, that might change over time. But right now, OMB's position is that we really are trying to apply this as broadly as we can and recognizing that the waiver process exists. And that might change over time. The products that this needs to be applied to might become more well defined over time as we get information from applicants about what works and what doesn't. It's just going to be an ongoing iterative process. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. And then do certain-- do we have any trading partner nations that qualify with BABA or are preferred? 

ADAM DEDENT: Yeah, that's a really good question, too. We haven't gotten any guidance from OMB on what products from what nation should qualify. But I can say that BABA is required to take international trade agreements into account when determining whether a product is, quote unquote, "domestic." We may have trade agreements with perhaps Canada or Mexico that say, we have to treat their products no worse than our own. And in that case, that might qualify those products to be considered domestic for purposes of BABA. But there hasn't been any guidance. 

I'm not an international law expert, unfortunately, or else I would love to answer this question because I get it all the time and I just haven't gotten any guidance that I can give to folks yet. So I've been sort of pressuring folks internally, and I've been sending notes to OMB that we're getting this question and, hey, can we get some guidance about what international products might qualify as domestic. They just haven't had the time, I don't think, to publish it yet. 

So please keep your eyes peeled to our DOE BABA website. If there is any information about international products qualifying under BABA as domestic, then that's where we'll put that information as soon as we get it. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK, awesome. Do you have time for one more? 

ADAM DEDENT: Yeah, for sure. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Has the BABA program done any type of sourcing analysis for different types of projects to see if they're eligible for companies or products that are in the United States? And just to go on to that, they're saying, they're thinking of the types of projects that can categorically be waived where domestic costs will always outweigh, example, battery storage. 

ADAM DEDENT: So is the question, is there a sourcing list? 

BRANDON KIGER: Yeah. I think that would be a nice, succinct way of saying it. 

ADAM DEDENT: Yeah. So there isn't right now. Look, BABA was passed into law a little over a year ago, maybe about 15 months ago. But coordinating the policy across the entire federal government, it's just slow going. 

So the intent-- OMB does intend to create this sourcing list, but I think the way that they're doing that-- don't quote me on this, but I think the way that they're doing that is by analyzing the waiver requests that they're getting that say, this product's not available. And then they might get a waiver request that says this product's not available, and they build a list of things that aren't available. But they're also trying to compile information about what is available and which manufacturers can provide that. 

To my knowledge, they haven't published anything because we're really just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of them getting waiver requests and getting feedback from the public on this. BABA really just went into effect on May 14, '22. A lot of agencies to give themselves some more time to sort of grapple with all of the extensive policy requirements that went along with it past six-month extensions, so we're sort of just getting into the time now where BABA is going live and applicants are starting to have to apply it. So I think that information will be coming, I just don't think that we have enough-- we haven't received enough information yet to put a list like that together. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you, Adam. I know you have to go, but I appreciate you staying on and answering some of those last questions. 

ADAM DEDENT: Yeah. My email is up on the slide, so feel free to shoot me questions and I'll route them as necessary. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you, Adam. 

ADAM DEDENT: Cool. Thanks, everybody. 

BRANDON KIGER: Homari, we had a question come in. Just to clarify, the grant does not need a project plan completed before the March 31 deadline? 

HOMARI AOKI: Great question. So with the 40101 Grid Resilience Formula Grant, you don't need to have any of the projects specifics before the March 31 deadline. So you wouldn't need necessarily a project plan in place. Once you are awarded the funds, then you would have additional time to provide information about your specific projects. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you. And Kassie, I know you answered this already, but there was another question related to capacity building, but maybe the audience would like to know this. Can Buildings UP be used to support direct funding for workforce capacity, such as hiring energy managers or staff? 

KASSIE GRIMES: Yes. So the answer to that is a resounding yes. And in fact, that's one way we hope the funding will be used by teams. But I also want to note that the Buildings Upgrade Prize is a prize competition. And so if you are a winner of the prize, you're receiving the prize for meeting or exceeding the goals of the competition, and so it is unrestricted funding. So you can use it to support staffing, but you don't have to. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. Thank you. So we'll take two more questions. Kassie, I see you're still on. Are you still OK to take some questions? 

KASSIE GRIMES: Yes, I can stay on for a couple more minutes. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. So what is the estimated date for the voucher program to be set up? 

KASSIE GRIMES: And by voucher program-- so we don't have a voucher program for this prize. But if that's referring to the application support prize, we have an application support technical assistance provider already on hand. And so winners of the application support prize will be connected with Elevate, which is our partnering organization, and they will be providing that 10 hours of technical assistance. And the $5,000 is this prize funding, and that can be used however the winning applicant best leave it to be used. 

BRANDON KIGER: All right. And then one final question. For the blueprint strategy, what level of ASHRAE audit is that? 

KASSIE GRIMES: Is this a question for Buildings UP? 

BRANDON KIGER: It might be. 

KASSIE GRIMES: OK, because we don't have an ASHRAE requirement for Buildings UP. 

BRANDON KIGER: OK. All right. Those are a lot of the major questions we had. So I just want to, again, thank our panelists today and your participation and preparation for this, and the audience for staying on this long. So once again, these will all be posted to our website, both the presentations and the recording. 

And let's go ahead and move to conclusion here. I stated earlier, this is the first webinar of the 2023 Tribal Energy Webinar Series. We are in process of finalizing the 2023 Tribal Energy Webinar Series. Once we have finalized the dates and topics, we will share that info through our website, listserv, and social media, so keep an eye out for that. 

This concludes the webinar for today. And thank you again for your interest and attendance. We look forward to you joining us for future webinars, and have a great day. Thank you. 

The previous 2 years of the Biden Administration unleashed an unprecedented amount of funding and incentives for climate change solutions.

Join us for the first session of the Office of Indian Energy 2023 Tribal Energy Webinar Series and learn about some of the current federal funding opportunities available for tribes and tribal energy projects.