This FOA supports the administration goals laid out above by funding projects which address historic inequities in school facilities investments, reduce school energy expenditures, help schools lead the nation in solving the climate crisis, and create well-paying union jobs. Energy consumption at U.S. public K-12 schools is a significant source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and the second highest operational expense to schools, second only to salaries.5 Packages of energy improvements, e.g., combining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting upgrades with solar water heating, can save even more energy than individual upgrades, and zero-energy or zero-energy ready construction can reduce energy consumption by more than 65%.3 These improvements can pay dividends for years to come: Every dollar saved on utility bills is a dollar that can be better spent on educating children.
As part of the whole-of-government approach to advance equity and encourage worker organizing and collective bargaining, and in alignment with BIL section 40541, this FOA and any related activities will seek to encourage meaningful engagement and participation of workforce organizations, including labor unions, as well as underserved communities and underrepresented groups, including consultation with Tribal Nations. Consistent with Executive Order 14008, this FOA is designed to help meet the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments in clean energy and climate solutions flow to disadvantaged communities, as defined by the Department pursuant to the Executive Order and to drive the creation of accessible well-paying jobs with the free and fair chance for workers to join a union.
Topic Area 1 – High-Impact Energy Efficiency and Health Improvements
Proposals contemplated under this topic area will include energy improvements that result in direct reduction to school energy costs, increased energy efficiency, and lead to improvements in teacher and student health, including indoor air quality. Energy cost savings may be realized by reduced loads and/or by demand flexibility and demand response approaches.
These high-impact energy improvements may take the form of repairs, renovations, or installations to the facility envelope, air conditioning system, ventilation system, heating system, domestic hot water heating system, compressed air system, distribution system, lighting system, power system, and/or controls of a building. Applicants are encouraged to package multiple improvements for deeper savings and carbon reductions.
Topic Area 2 - Innovative Energy Technology Packages
Proposals contemplated under this topic include innovative energy technology packages. Applicants may include any improvement, repair, or renovation to a school that incorporates two or more of the following energy improvements:
For more information on the above topic areas, see Page 10 of the RFP document listed in Supporting Documents, below.
Estimated Total Program Funding: