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2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize – Round 2

Open Date:

3/20/2024

Close Date:

6/13/2024

Eligible Recipients:

  • Educational Institutions
  • Local Governments
  • Native/Tribal Entities
  • Non-profits
  • Private Sector
  • State Governments

Program Purpose:

  • Efficiency and Weatherization
  • Health and Safety

Reserved for Energy
Communities?

No

Upcoming Milestones:

Office Hours:

  • April 24 at 1pm ET. Register here.
  • May 29 at 2pm ET. Register here.

Bureau/Office:

Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy

Overview

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 decrease energy use and cost, improve indoor air quality, and foster healthier learning environments.

The Renew America’s Schools program launched its first round of funding in 2022 and has since invested $182.5 million in public school districts across America. The $4.5 million Energy CLASS Prize (2022–2024) helped Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) build capacity for energy management and prepare to implement energy-infrastructure upgrades. The $178 million Renew America’s Schools grant (2022–2024) funded clean energy and energy efficiency upgrades at over 90 school facilities in 22 states—directly benefiting more than 74,000 students and 5,000 teachers.

DOE is now accepting submissions for the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize, a $180 million investment in K-12 public schools across the country. This three-phase opportunity will help districts build capacity, perform energy audits, and plan/implement energy improvement projects across a portfolio of school facilities.

The 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize consists of three phases. During Phase 1, competitors will build teams and curate lists of at least 10 schools and school facilities that demonstrate compelling need and eligibility for investment. Phase 1 winners will earn a cash prize of $300,000 and move on to Phases 2 and 3, during which they will enter into and execute Cooperative Agreements with DOE.

PHASE 1 (PRIZE): Portfolio + Team = Up to 23 Winners at $300,000 cash prize each

In Phase 1 (“Portfolio + Team”), competitors will identify a minimum of 10 schools/school facilities to be included in their application. The portfolio may span multiple LEAs. The portfolio should exhibit a high need for energy assessments and, ultimately, energy improvements. The goal of Phase 1 is for competitors to successfully assemble their project team, assemble their portfolio of school facilities, demonstrate the need for energy improvements at schools and school facilities in the defined portfolio, and outline their process to complete the tasks in Phase 2. Based on successful completion of Phase 1, winners may be invited to enter into negotiations with DOE for a Cooperative Agreement.

PHASE 2 (COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT): Strategic Plan + Energy Audits = $500,000 to $1,000,000 per grantee

ONLY winners from the Phase 1 Prize will be eligible to negotiate with DOE to receive a Cooperative Agreement for Phase 2 and Phase 3 funding.

Phase 2 (“Strategic Plan + Energy Audits”) will be synonymous with Budget Period 1 of the Cooperative Agreement. Funding in Phase 2 will reimburse Grantees for costs associated with energy audits and strategic planning and design. DOE will allocate a set amount of funding per Grantee, determined by the number of schools or school facilities submitted in their Phase 1 application. In Phase 2, Grantees conduct The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Level 2 energy audits of all the schools/school facilities in the portfolio and develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan for implementing energy improvements. Energy audits and the Strategic Plan should provide schools with clear pathways to prioritize energy improvements, access private sector funding and/or tax credits, and realize high-impact health and safety benefits.

PHASE 3 (COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT): Implementation = $7,000,000 to $14,000,000 per grantee

Phase 3 (“Implementation”) will be synonymous with Budget Period 2 of the Cooperative Agreement. In Phase 3, DOE will allocate a set amount of funding per grantee, determined by the number of schools/school facilities submitted in their Phase 1 application. In Phase 3, Grantees oversee implementation of the energy improvements identified at the end of Phase 2. DOE will work with Grantees to ensure high-priority energy improvements are implemented within the allotted budget for Phase 3. Phase 3 should directly advance the measurable goals of energy savings and high impact health and safety benefits outlined in Phase 1.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.

Funding Details

Funding Source:
Funding Type:
Grant - match required
Total Amount Available:
$180,000,000
Limit per Applicant:
$15,000,000
Estimated Awards:
23

Applicant Guidance

Contact Information

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