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. DOE expects to announce selections this summer.
Subscribe for more information about the Renew America's School Program.
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, $4.5 million competitive prize 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.
Learn more about the Renew America’s Schools grant and the Energy CLASS Prize below.
Congratulations to the 25 Phase 1 Winners of the Energy CLASS Prize!
Phase 1 Winners were announced on May 5, 2023. Each will receive $100,000 in cash prizes, along with coaching and skills development from professionals in the newly-established Energy CLASS Prize Training Network. At the end of Phase 2, based on their performance, Phase 1 Winners will be eligible for an additional $50,000 in funding.
Renew America’s Schools Funding Opportunity
The application period for the first round of the Renew America’s Schools Grant closed on April 21, 2023. This round proposed to make up to $80 million available to K–12 public schools for the purpose of implementing energy upgrades.
- DOE anticipates announcing selections for the Renew America’s Schools Grant in June, 2023.
- DOE anticipates releasing the second round of funding in FY24.
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.
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.
If you are a vendor of BABA compliant products, join the BABA Compliant Product List to add information on your product.
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
State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP)
Consortium of One Local Education Agency and one or more Schools, Non-Profits, For-Profits, and Community Partners
Period of Availability:
Available until expended