The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program seeks to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people. The ERA program will leverage DOE’s expertise and experience in resilient energy solutions to modernize electric generation facilities, address disproportionately high electricity costs, and support new economic opportunities in rural and remote communities.
The ERA program received $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and provides financial investment, technical assistance, and other resources to advance clean energy demonstrations and energy solutions that are replicable and scalable. ERA aims to fund community-driven energy projects with three specific goals:
- Deliver measurable benefits to energy customers in rural or remote areas by funding replicable energy projects that lower energy costs, improve energy access and resilience, and/or reduce environmental harm
- Demonstrate new rural or remote energy system models using climate-resilient technologies, business structures that promote economic resilience, new financing mechanisms, and/or new community engagement best practices
- Build clean energy knowledge, capacity, and self-reliance throughout rural America
OCED is also offering no-cost technical assistance to communities and organizations interested in energy improvements in rural or remote areas. Technical assistance will vary based on specific project needs and requests.
Grant, Cooperative Agreement, or Other
Industry Partners and other For-profit Entities; Utilities; Institutions of Higher Education; State and Local Governments; Community Based Organizations and other Non-profit Entities; Tribal; Environmental Groups; and Cities, Towns, or Unincorporated Areas with populations of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.
Period of Availability:
$200,000,000 appropriated annually for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 (to remain available until expended)
- Overall cost-effectiveness of energy generation, transmission, or distribution systems;
- Siting or upgrading transmission and distribution lines;
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by rural or remote areas;
- Providing or modernizing electric generation facilities;
- Developing microgrids; and
- Increasing energy efficiency.
Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement ($50 Million, issued May 2023):
- Learn more about the Grant Funding Pre-Application Notifications
- Register for the webinar on September 7
- Download the Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement
- Download the Community Benefits Plan Guidance
- Download the ERA Grant FOA Guidance document
- View the Grant Funding Notice webpage
- Read the Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement Press Release
- View the previously recorded Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement Informational Webinar held on May 30, 2023
- Access the Technical Assistance webpage
Funding Opportunity Announcement ($300 Million, issued March 2023):
- Download the Funding Opportunity Announcement
- Review the Community Benefits Plan Guidance
- View the Funding Notice webpage
- Read the Funding Opportunity Announcement Press Release
- Learn more about the Concept Paper encourage/discourage notifications
- View the slides and previously recorded Concept Paper Feedback Webinar held on June 6, 2023
- View the previously recorded Funding Opportunity Announcement Informational Webinar
- View the previously issued Request for Information and read the Press Release
Prize Competition ($15 Million, issued March 2023):
- Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Program Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement. Pre-applications are due July 13, 2023. Full applications are due by October 12, 2023.
- Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Program Funding Opportunity Announcement. Concept papers were due by April 14, 2023. Full applications are due by August 2, 2023.
- Energizing Rural Communities Prize applications were due by May 24, 2023. Winners were announced in July 2023. Learn more about the 67 winners selected here.
OCED held three public workshops to hear directly from state, local and Tribal governments, utilities, private sector project developers, and others in rural and remote communities on the energy challenges and types of projects that can improve their energy systems as part of the development of the ERA program.
Follow the links below to view the video recordings from OCED’s ERA Virtual Workshop:
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