The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the $500 million Renew America’s Schools Program to promote the implementation of clean energy improvements at K-12 public schools across the country. This first-of-its-kind investment, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), aims to help school communities make energy upgrades that will lower utilities costs, improve indoor air quality, and foster healthier learning environments.
The Renew America’s Schools grant is the program’s flagship funding opportunity. This competitive award focuses on funding infrastructure upgrades at K–12 public school facilities, prioritizing high-need school communities. The first round of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) launched in November 2022. After unprecedented public interest, the application period closed on April 21, 2023.
Subscribe for more information about the Renew America's School Program.
Congratulations to the 24 Round 1 Selectees of the Renew America's Schools Grant!
Selectees were announced on June 29, 2023. Due to high demand and overwhelming evidence of public need, DOE more than doubled the funding for Round 1 of the competition, from $80 million to $178 million. Local Education Agencies will now move through the award process to implement the building improvement projects they proposed, to bring cleaner air, better lighting, and more occupancy comfort to their facilities.
Renew America’s Schools Grant
The Department of Energy announced selections for Round 1 of the Renew America's Schools grant on June 29, 2023.
The Department of Energy anticipates releasing the second round of funding in Spring 2024.
Eligible projects include energy infrastructure improvements that reduce building operating costs—like new HVAC and ventilation systems, building envelope and lighting projects, and renewable energy technologies. Funding is also available for alternative fueled vehicles and alternative fueled vehicle infrastructure.
Is my LEA and/or prospective consortium member eligible to apply for the next round of grants if we didn't apply last year?
Yes! DOE anticipates releasing a second round of funding for the Renew America's Schools grant in the Spring of 2024. Applications will be open to all eligible entities regardless of past participation.
Energy CLASS Prize
In tandem with the Renew America’s Schools grant, DOE launched a $4.5 million prize called the Energy Champions Leading the Advancement of Sustainable Schools Prize (Energy CLASS Prize). This two-phase, competitive award aims to support some of the nation’s highest-need K–12 schools by establishing, training, and supporting energy managers—or champions—in their districts. On May 5, 2023, DOE announced 25 Winners who will each receive $100,000 and gain access to the Energy CLASS Prize Training Network.
Teaming Partner List
There is vast interest and opportunity for collaboration between school districts and industry experts willing to support them in meeting their energy goals. To facilitate such partnerships, and to help school stakeholders in the Renew America’s Schools Program, the Efficient and Healthy Schools Program, the ESPC Campaign, and the Better Buildings/Better Climate Challenge connect and communicate, DOE is compiling a Teaming Partner List. Join the Teaming Partner List to let prospective partners know you are interested in working together. Please note that this is not an application for any DOE programs or campaigns.
BABA Compliant Product List
Investing in American manufacturing and workforce is a cornerstone of BIL. Projects funded through the Renew America’s Schools Program include Build America, Buy America (BABA) requirements. To assist stakeholders in finding products that meet these requirements, the DOE Schools & Nonprofits Program is compiling a list of companies with BABA compliant products.
View the current list of companies offering BABA compliant products:
School Needs and Benefits Assessment Resources A compiled list of resources to support development of a baseline energy needs assessment. The tutorial video below demonstrates how DOE's resources may be combined to develop a baseline energy needs assessment.
Energy Justice Mapping Tool for Schools A tool to explore and produce reports for individual school facilities based on several metrics.
Federal School Programs
Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign A national campaign aimed at engaging K-12 schools to reduce energy costs and improve energy performance and indoor air quality.
Better Buildings Initiative Resource for K-12 School Districts An initiative that partners with leaders in many sectors, including school districts, to make the nation's buildings more energy efficient by accelerating investments and sharing successful best practices.
Financing Efficient and Healthy Retrofits A resource for more information on solutions to access capital and finance energy efficiency projects in schools.
BIL Provision 40541
Consortium of One Local Education Agency and one or more Schools, Non-Profits, For-Profits, and Community Partners
Period of Availability:
Available until expended