Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Competitive Program frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Weekly FAQ Updates
The EECBG Competitive Program is an $8.8 million competitive grant awarded to cities, counties, towns, state-recognized Tribes—and teams of these communities—to implement projects and programs that reduce fossil fuel emissions, improve energy efficiency, and cut overall energy use.
The EECBG Program is authorized by Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), as amended, and signed into Public Law on December 19, 2007. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Section 40552 provides $550 million for the EECBG Program for fiscal year 2022, to remain available until expended. IIJA allocated 2 percent of the total EECBG program funds for the competitive program.
Communities selected for this program will receive grant funding and technical assistance to either develop (1) plans and strategies to accelerate their rate of clean energy deployment, or (2) projects and programs to deploy clean energy technologies and get to scale.
The Department of Energy (DOE) anticipates making approximately 10–20 awards ranging from $200,000 to $2 million. Recipients will also be able to access technical assistance offerings, including trainings and access to experts. Selected communities or teams will be able to take advantage of several technical assistance opportunities and are eligible to apply for a DOE-sponsored, full-time fellow to support their EECBG project and help them meet their energy goals.
The EECBG Competitive Program is open to communities that are ineligible to receive a formula funding allocation. Further, because it is a competitive program, not all eligible entities that apply will receive funds.
The Competitive Program will only offer grant funding and will not offer technical assistance vouchers or rebates to recipients.
The only entities that may be prime recipients (or lead applicants) for this FOA are State- recognized tribes and U.S. cities and counties that are ineligible to receive an EECBG Formula award as listed on the EECBG Program Formula Grant Application Hub.
All projects that are eligible under the formula grant can be implemented with funding from the Competitive Program. There are 15 categories of eligible uses of funds, covering projects that range from electric vehicle infrastructure, solar installations, municipal building retrofits, developing energy efficiency and conservation strategies, and more. For more information, see pages 5–6 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
- Councils of Government
- Planning organizations
- Community-based organizations
- Quasi-governmental entities
The only eligible entities for the EECBG competitive program are local governments and tribes that did not receive an EECBG formula allocation. Additional organizations such as those listed can be project partners, and may receive sub-grants through the applicant, but are not eligible to apply.
The Funding Opportunity Announcement will focus on three primary criteria:
- Impact on near term and long-term greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel use, and/or energy use; and/or increase in the use of clean energy.
- Community engagement and benefits, consistent with the Justice40 Initiative, including a planned or completed community engagement strategy and additional benefits to the community(ies), such as economic opportunities, job creation/retention, energy cost reduction, improved energy reliability, and/or positive health outcomes and;
- Viability of the plan and strength of team, including the technical feasibility, financial viability, and support from the local government or tribal leadership.
Further, per statute, the Department of Energy (DOE) will give priority to applicants within states with fewer than two million residents and to projects that will result in significant energy efficiency improvements or reductions in fossil fuel use.
The first step in the application process is to complete and submit Concept Papers, which are due to DOE by June 5, 2023, 5 p.m. ET. Applications should be submitted on the Infrastructure Exchange.
Next, the Department of Energy (DOE) will make an independent assessment of each Concept Paper based on the criteria in Section V of the Funding Opportunity Announcement. DOE will either encourage or discourage applicants to submit a full application. Applicants may submit a full application regardless of whether they are encouraged or discouraged to do so. Full applications are due by August 7, 2023, 5 p.m. ET.
Concept papers are brief descriptions of the project proposal (including a community benefits & engagement plan), identification of team members, and requested budget amount. For more information, see page 17 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Infrastructure Exchange will also have a concept paper template that applicants may use.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will make an independent assessment of each Concept Paper based on the criteria in Section V of the Funding Opportunity Announcement. DOE will either encourage or discourage applicants to submit a full application. Applicants may submit a full application regardless of whether they are encouraged or discouraged to do so. Full applications are due by August 7, 2023.
Yes! The Department of Energy (DOE) encourages eligible entities to team up on a single application in order to (1) ease the administrative burdens associated with managing a federal grant, (2) maximize the scope, reach, and level of ambition for the proposed projects and programs, and (3) encourage sharing of capacity, knowledge, expertise, lessons learned and best practices across jurisdictions.
Successful team applicants that are selected for funding will be eligible to also receive a DOE-sponsored, full-time fellow to be located in the prime applicant’s offices and support their endeavors under this program.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply in teams to maximize impact of the EECBG Competitive Program and reduce the administrative burden on individual communities.
Entities teaming up need only submit a single application.
The Department of Energy (DOE) anticipates providing smaller awards to applicants with only one eligible community represented (approximately $200,000–$500,000); and providing larger awards to applicants representing several eligible communities (approximately $700,000–$2,000,000).
Selected teams will also be eligible to receive a DOE-sponsored, full-time fellow to support their work in their community.
No. Eligible entities do not need to be from the same state in order to team with one another.
Yes! Partner organizations, such as non-profit organizations, quasi-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, regional organizations, utilities, national labs (also referred to as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)), can be on the project team.
While partner organizations may not be the “prime recipient” (or lead applicant), they can be part of the team and receive grant funds (also known as “sub-recipients”).
The EECBG Competitive Program is an $8.8 million competitive grant awarded to cities, counties, towns, state-recognized tribes—or teams of these communities—to implement projects that reduce fossil fuel emissions, improve energy efficiency, and cut overall energy use.
The Department of Energy (DOE) anticipates making approximately 10–20 awards ranging from $200,000 to $2 million. Recipients will also be able to access technical assistance offerings, including trainings and access to experts.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will give priority to applicants from states with fewer than two million residents and to projects that will result in significant energy efficiency improvements or reductions in fossil fuel use in historically disadvantaged communities.
Priority states include: AK, DE, HI, ID, ME, MT, ND, NE, NH, RI, SD, VT, WV, WY, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands).
No, there is no funding to aid in the application process. However, the Department of Energy will answer questions via this FAQ on a regular basis to address concerns as they arise.
Leveraging Other Federal Funds
Yes, there are restrictions for how this funding can leverage other federal funds. For instance, this funding may not be used as a cost-match for other federal funds.
EECBG funding must be used for one of the 15 eligible uses listed in the EECBG Statute, and must be separate from any other activities paid for by federal funds. EECBG recipients should strictly account for the activities paid for by each federal grant to ensure transparent tracking, and avoid duplication or "double dipping."
EECBG funds may not be used to cover the local government portion of a cost-share between a local government and a state government or with other federal programs.