Attend the next Blueprint Cohorts event on Mar. 14. The theme is tax credits! Register here.

The EECBG Program Blueprints are model projects and programs designed to help local and tribal governments achieve high impact results with limited grant dollars. Blueprints offer ideas in energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation electrification, clean energy finance, and workforce development. 

Key activity areas under each blueprint serve as a step-by-step guide for communities to follow. Each activity is accompanied by relevant tools and resources that go into much more detail. EECBG Program grantees are encouraged to consider blueprints as inspiration for ways they could use their grant dollars. 
 

Blueprint Cohorts 

DOE is delighted to announce the launch of the EECBG Blueprint Cohorts! We kick-started the Cohorts with an event on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 and are hosting monthly sessions throughout the entire duration of the EECBG program. The Blueprint Cohorts initiative will regularly convene EECBG grantees following one of the 13 Blueprints along each of the blueprint topic areas. EECBG grantees will meet one another, ask questions, learn from experts, and troubleshoot challenges. The Blueprint Cohorts will run the entire duration of the EECBG Program to amplify the impact and reach of EECBG projects from start to finish.

As part of the Blueprint Cohorts, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is leading a series of trainings to support EECBG Program participants.

Check out upcoming and past Blueprint Cohort events from DOE and NREL below.

Join a Blueprint Cohort!

Click here to sign up or email us at technicalassistance@hq.doe.gov.

Upcoming Events

This webinar will explore how EECBG Program formula eligible local governments and Tribes may take advantage of Inflation Reduction Act clean energy tax credits through elective pay. We will dive into the various tax credits eligible for elective pay as well as the process for claiming and receiving those credits. Various tax credit "adders" will also be discussed, including the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program. Guest speakers will include representatives from DOE's Office of Policy and Office of Energy Justice and Equity. Please come prepared to discuss in smaller breakout groups. We look forward to seeing you there! Register here.

This training will provide a basic introduction to the options for financing a clean energy project as well as for recovering the investment and generating revenue from the project. Common eligible EECBG project types will be used as case studies to walk through the process. Information on stacking and sequencing certain federal opportunities such as grants and tax credits will be provided as well. Register here.

Past Events

ResStock is an analysis tool that can help states, municipalities, utilities, and manufacturers identify which housing improvements save the most money and energy. Detailed information on the technical and economic potential of residential energy efficiency improvements and packages is available for 48 states domestically. These results can be used to identify improvements with the highest potential for cost-effective savings in a particular state or region, as well as identify customer segments for targeted marketing and deployment.

This webinar provided local governments and Tribes with step-by-step instructions for implementing energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in government buildings, and beyond, using newly developed EECBG Program Blueprint How-to-Guides. Attendees heard directly from guest speakers with tangible experience implementing energy efficiency building upgrades at the local level. The discussion included topics such as benchmarking, energy auditing, energy savings performance contracting, and more!

This talk discussed financing strategies and examples for a range of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant eligible clean energy initiatives. Beginning with a brief overview of project development and financing, it addressed public and private funding sources, ownership models, and key considerations to help practitioners choose among different approaches. The discussion included examples from three project categories: strategic and planning activities, incentives and structured finance, and direct infrastructure investment. 

This webinar provided a brief introduction to clean energy financing and brought together experts from various federal programs to discuss how EECBG Program formula-eligible entities can stretch their grant dollars by incorporating innovative financing mechanisms and leveraging additional federal funding and technical assistance opportunities. Guest speakers included representatives from DOE’s Building Energy Codes Technical Assistance Program, Energy Saving Performance Contracting Campaign, Home Energy Rebates Program, and more!

JEDI models are user-friendly tools that estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation and biofuel plants at the local and state levels. Using JEDI, you can analyze the energy impacts of wind, biofuels, concentrating solar power, geothermal, marine and hydrokinetic power, coal, and natural gas power plants.

In this session we discussed important program updates and announcements, focused in on one key activity that spans multiple blueprints: community engagement, and heard an example of what community engagement looks like at the local level.

  • The System Advisor Model (SAM) is a free techno-economic software model that facilitates decision-making for people in the renewable energy industry. It can model many different types of renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, and batteries, for a variety of financial markets, both front-of-meter and behind-the-meter.
  • The PVWatts Calculator Estimates the energy production of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world. It allows homeowners, small building owners, installers and manufacturers to easily develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations.

Learn how to use the REopt tool to discover the optimal mix of renewable energy, conventional generation, and energy storage needed for your building, campus, community, or microgrid to meet your cost savings, resilience, emissions reductions and energy performance goals.

In this session we gave important EECBG program updates, reviewed key application requirements such as choosing between the grant and voucher option and developing an Energy Efficiency Conservation Strategy (EECS), and presented an example of how to utilize the blueprints to maximize your project’s impact.

The SLOPE tool provides data on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation at the state and local level. It can answer key energy planning questions such as “How can various energy strategies help my community achieve its energy or decarbonization goals?”

The LEAD Tool provides housing and energy characteristics of low-and moderate-income households. Build state, county, or city “profiles” equipped with data you need to start new low-income programs, identify target communities, and inform equitable energy planning.

In this session we discussed what blueprints are, what you can expect from joining a blueprint cohort, and broke out into smaller groups to get to know your peers.

Read the Blueprints Here

Icons Used in the Blueprints

Icons representing power sources


 

 

Justice and Equity- Provides ideas for weaving justice and equity approaches into your activities.

Graphic representation of key representing key activities


 

 

Key Activities- Indicates Key Activities and related resources.

Graphic of gears representing key activities.


 

 

Common Activities- Shows Key Activities that are present in multiple Blueprints.

Megaphone graphic representing communication.


 

 

Support- 
Highlights when an exceptional level of technical assistance is available.

Why Should My Organization Use a Blueprint?

  • These step-by-step guides illustrate project and program ideas that are already determined to be eligible for EECBG Program use. Choosing to follow a blueprint will expedite the application review process. 
  • Blueprints are rooted in best practice for equity and energy efficiency and conservation impact.
  • Each blueprint highlights the most relevant tools and resources to help as you implement the projects and programs.  
  • DOE will align technical assistance around the blueprint topics, including bringing blueprint cohorts together on a regular basis to foster peer learning and to answer questions as you go.  
     

The Importance of Key Activities 

When selecting a blueprint, an EECBG Program grantee can expect an expedited review by DOE of their grant application. Importantly, to receive an expedited review of your application, grant activities are limited to the key activities listed under each blueprint. Going outside these key activities may trigger additional reviews of your EECBG project to ensure you’re meeting National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), historic preservation, and/or other federal regulations.

Justice 40 and the EECBG Program Blueprints 

The EECBG Program is a Justice40-covered program and contributes to the President’s goal that 40% of the overall benefits of Federal investments in clean energy and climate solutions flow to Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) that for too long have faced disinvestment and underinvestment. DOE strongly encourages eligible entities to maximize project benefits and describe how these benefits will flow to DACs to the greatest extent practicable. 

DOE priorities aligned with Justice40 include: 

  1. Transform local infrastructure and economies 
  2. Lift up historically disadvantaged communities 
  3. Mitigate and build resilience to climate change 

The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) is a geospatial mapping tool that can assist EECBG Program applicants in identifying areas within their communities that are faced with significant burdens. Census tracts that are overburdened and underserved are highlighted as being disadvantaged on the map. Click on any census tract to learn more; information is organized into the following eight categories: climate change, energy, health, housing, legacy pollution, transportation, water and wastewater, and workforce development. 

Blueprint FAQs

The blueprints are one of the many resources available to EECBG grantees. Blueprint topics are good ideas that are designed to spark inspiration. Each blueprint has a webpage that describes the benefits of the topic and highlights great tools and online resources available to help execute the project. Each blueprint webpage also includes a downloadable PDF that summarizes the key activities important for completing the blueprint.

Anyone can use the blueprints! You may choose to use the blueprint with a grant allocation or a voucher.

Yes!

In your Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, you will indicate that you will be using the blueprint. After that, you may also need to indicate the blueprint choice in your application (either in PAGE or in the voucher application).  If you choose a blueprint, you’ll need to commit to at least one key activity. However, the blueprints are intended to be step-by-step guides, not a regimented rulebook filled with requirements for how to do the work.

No. You need to pick at least one key activity, but do not need to complete all of them.

This is fine, so long as your activities fall within one of the 14 allowable activities listed in the ALRD and the statute. But, please be aware that you may receive a slower review of your EECBG Program application if your scope of work goes beyond the blueprint key activities.

That’s great! Make sure you’re clearly identifying and tracking which key activities you’re pursuing under each blueprint.

Indicate your choice of blueprint in your energy efficiency and conservation strategy (EECS). If you’re pursuing a grant, indicate your choice in PAGE. If you’re pursuing a voucher, indicate your choice in the voucher application.