U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. ACS – American Community Survey – The American Community Survey(ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation. US Census American Community Surveys
  1. Affordable housing – Affordable housing is generally defined as housing on which the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of gross income for housing costs, including utilities. Housing and Urban Development
  1. ARC – Appalachia Regional Commission – The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development partnership entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. Appalachian Regional Commission
  1. Broadband – Broadband in telecommunication means a wide bandwidth which can transport multiple signals over a “broad” range of frequencies and support different internet traffic types, allowing multiple data streams to be sent at once. Introduction to Broadband and High Speed Internet
  1. Brownfield – a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. US Environmental Protection Administration Brownfield Overview
  1. Capacity Building – Amassing local knowledge, power and action to achieve meaningful change.
  1. Community Capacity – The combined influence of a community’s commitment, resources and skills that can be deployed to build on a community’s strengths and address community problems and opportunities. Aspen Institute Rual Capacity Building
  1. CIP – Capital Improvement Plan – A capital improvement plan (CIP) is a community planning and fiscal management tool used to coordinate the location, timing and financing of capital improvements over a multi-year period — usually 4-6 years. Capital improvements refer to major, non-recurring physical expenditures such as land, buildings, public infrastructure and equipment. The CIP includes a description of proposed capital improvement projects ranked by priority, a year-by-year schedule of expected project funding, and an estimate of project costs and financing sources. The CIP is a working document and should be reviewed and updated annually to reflect changing community needs, priorities and funding opportunities. Capital Improvement Planning
  1. CEDS – Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy – a CEDS is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. A CEDS is the result of a regionally-owned planning process designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region.2It is a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem by helping to build regional capacity (through hard and soft infrastructure) that contributes to individual, firm, and community success. The CEDS provides a vehicle for individuals, organizations, local governments, institutes of learning, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about what capacity building efforts would best serve economic development in the region. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
  1. Clearinghouse – The Clearinghouse is a repository of federal funding opportunities. The Clearinghouse includes resources to help apply for federal funding including technical assistance and webinars. Energy Communities IWG Funding 
  1. Commuting distance – Commuting refers to a worker’s travel from home to work. Several Census surveys including the American Community Survey (ACS), the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Decennial Census (2000 and prior), and the American Housing Survey (AHS) include questions about the working population’s commutes. The ability to link information about commuting to socio-demographic characteristics and geography allows planners to forecast local travel demand, gauge the amount of pressure placed on transportation infrastructure, and better address unmet transportation needs. Federal, state, and local planners and policymakers use the ACS and other Census Bureau surveys to guide decisions about how to allocate limited public resources devoted to transportation. Census Employment Commuting
  1. Consensus – generallyaccepted opinion or decision among a group of people. Cambridge English Dictionary  To read more about consensus building, please see Consensus Decision Making, a short guide, one of many resources on this subject.
  1. Cost Share – Matching or cost sharing means that a portion of the project’s cost is not paid by federal funds. Matching funds are typically stated as a percentage of the total amount of funds awarded. The Department of Justice has a resources explaining cost share in greater detail.  DOJ cost sharing or matching guide.
  1. Demographics – Demography is literally “Writing about people.”  However, it has come to mean the quantitative or statistical study of human populations. As such, most of what the U.S. Census Bureau does can be described as “demography,”  from the taking of the census every 10 years, to collecting information on race, ethnicity, employment, income, poverty, commuting, health, crime victimization… the list would be long. Census Demographics blog
  1. Distress – The definition of distress varies among agencies for purposes of eligibility for federal funding. It is necessary to use the distress definition associated with each federal funding announcement.  For instance, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) defines distress as “economic distress is determined by one or more of the following calculations or thresholds: Low per capita income—the area has a per capita. income of 80% or less of the national average; Unemployment rate above national average—the area.”  The Environmental Protection Agency defines uses the term “disadvantaged” to define a community for eligibility purposes.   EPA Definitions
  1. Economic Development Plan – See Comprehensive Development Plan Strategy (CEDS)
  1. EDD – Economic Development District – Economic Development Districts (EDDs) are multi-jurisdictional entities, commonly composed of multiple counties and in certain cases even cross-state borders. They help lead the locally based, regionally driven economic development planning process that leverages the involvement of the public, private and non-profit sectors to establish a strategic blueprint (i.e., an economic development roadmap) for regional collaboration. EDA Economic Development Glossary
  1. EDR – Economic Development Representatives – Economic Development Representatives (EDR) are the locally based representatives of EDA. EDRs work with local, state, and Tribal governments, as well as other organizations in their assigned areas to apply economic development practices to local needs by developing plans and projects for federal collaboration and investment. EDA Economic Development Glossary
  1. EDA – US Economic Development Administration – See the glossary maintained by the EDA for further detail. EDA Economic Development Glossary
  1. Employment Rate (Employment-Population ratio) – The employment-population ratio represents the number of employedpeople as a percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population. In other words, it is the percentage of the population that is currently working. See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more definitions related to employment Bureau of Labor Statistics Definitions
  1. Employment Sector – Group of industries engaged in similar economic activities. An example of employment by major industry sector is here. Note: In NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) the first two digits designate the economic sector, the third digit designates the subsector, the fourth digit designates the industry group, the fifth digit designates the NAICS industry, and the sixth digit designates the national industry. 
  1. Environmental Justice and Screening Tool – EJScreen allows users to access high-resolution environmental and demographic information for locations in the United States and compare their selected locations to the rest of the state, EPA region, or the nation. The tool may help users identify areas with:
  • People of color and/or low-income populations
  • Potential environmental quality issues
  • A combination of environmental and demographic indicators that is greater than usual
  • Other factors that may be of interest

EJScreen is an EPA’s environmental justice mapping and screening tool that provides EPA with a nationally consistent dataset and approach for combining environmental and demographic socioeconomic indicators. EJScreen users choose a geographic area; the tool then provides demographic socioeconomic and environmental information for that area. All of the EJScreen indicators are publicly available data. EJScreen simply provides a way to display this information and includes a method for combining environmental and demographic indicators into EJ indexes. Purposes and Uses of the EJ Screening tool


  1. Environmental Review – The term “environmental review” means the agency procedures and processes for applying a categorical exclusion or for preparing an environmental assessment, an environmental impact statement, or other document required under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Categorical exclusions are categories of actions that a federal agency has determined, in its NEPA procedures, normally do not have a significant effect on the human environmentand for which, therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement normally is required.

The Economic Development Administration publishes an annotated guide to the narrative portion of the required environmental review along with a check list for completing.  EDA Environmental Review Template and Checklist  The Federal Highway Administration publishes an environmental review toolkit that describes the fundamental aspects of an environmental review for most federal government agencies. FHWA Environmental Reviews The Housing and Urban Development conducts training for environmental reviews. HUD Environmental Reviews  Check with your funding agency for specific requirements.


  1. EPA – Environmental Protection Agency.  The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.  EPA works to ensure that:
  • Americans have clean air, land and water;
  • National efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information;
  • Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are administered and enforced fairly, effectively and as Congress intended;
  • Environmental stewardship is integral to U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
  • All parts of society–communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments–have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
  • Contaminated lands and toxic sites are cleaned up by potentially responsible parties and revitalized; and
  • Chemicals in the marketplace are reviewed for safety.

EPA Mission EPA publishes a glossary of terms that may be useful when applying. EPA Glossary


  1. Goal – A goal is an aim or purpose. The goal of community planning is to maximize the health, safety, and economic well-being of all people living in our communities. This involves thinking about how we can move around our community, how we can attract and retain thriving businesses, where we want to live, and opportunities for recreation. American Planning Association.
  1. Governing Body – A Governing Body is a group that manages or controls the activities of a country, region or organization. Cambridge English Dictionary For purposes of community transition, this is the township, city, county, or state government that makes decisions on behalf of the community. 
  1. Grants.gov – Grants.gov is the full service Federal website that teaches about how to apply for grants and is the portal for submitting and tracking almost all grant applications in the Federal government.  The website includes options to search for grants, manage a workspace with multiple contributors, check for errors and multiple tutorials. 
  1. Grant Management – Generically, grant management is the process of receiving, using and reporting on Federal funds. The specific reporting requirements, schedules, and systems can vary for each grant, so please review the grant terms and conditions carefully for this information. Check out the Grant Systems section to learn more about the systems you may have to use and where to find more information about them.

The post award phase comprises a significant amount of work over the duration of the award dates, which includes implementing the grant, reporting progress, and completing the closeout requirements. The awarding agency typically has a grants management officer and program officer designated to each grant, both of which you will work with throughout the life of the grant. They are the ones who will review reports and conduct site visits, so we recommend you build an effective line of communication with these staff members. It is better to prevent issues by talking to your grant and program officers to clarify grant terms or expectations than it is to submit a report and wait for problems to be identified and recourse initiated.


  1. Housing Stock – The term “housing stock” means the number of existing housing units based on data compiled by the United States Bureau of the Census and referable to the same point or period in time. 42 USC § 5302(a)(13)
  1. IRA – Inflation Reduction Act – The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. The bill will also finally allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drug prices and extend the expanded Affordable Care Act program for three years, through 2025. The new proposal for the FY2022 Budget Reconciliation bill will invest approximately $300 billion in Deficit Reduction and $369 billion in Energy Security and Climate Change programs over the next ten years. Additionally, the agreement calls for comprehensive Permitting reform legislation to be passed before the end of the fiscal year. Permitting reform is essential to unlocking domestic energy and transmission projects, which will lower costs for consumers and help us meet our long-term emissions goals. Senate Democrats IRA summary
  1. Infrastructure- The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, water, sewer, roads, broadband, lighting, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
  1. IWG – Energy Communities Interagency Working Group – The Biden Administration established the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (IWG) to facilitate economic revitalization in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities and to support workers. The IWG’s primary mission is to coordinate the identification of economic revitalization resources for coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities; develop implementation strategies for economic and social recovery; assess opportunities to support coal and power plant workers; and submit reports on revitalization efforts. Congressional Research Service in Focus To learn more, visit Energy Communities IWG
  1. Median Household Income – Income in the Past 12 Months – Income of Households: This includes the income of the householder and all other individuals 15 years old and over in the household, whether they are related to the householder or not. Because many households consist of only one person, average household income is usually less than average family income. Although the household income statistics cover the past 12 months, the characteristics of individuals and the composition of households refer to the time of interview. Thus, the income of the household does not include amounts received by individuals who were members of the household during all or part of the past 12 months if these individuals no longer resided in the household at the time of interview. Similarly, income amounts reported by individuals who did not reside in the household during the past 12 months but who were members of the household at the time of interview are included. However, the composition of most households was the same during the past 12 months as at the time of interview. The median divides the income distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median income and one-half above the median. For the complete definition, go to ACS subject definitions “Income in the Past 12 Months.”
  1. Navigator – The Navigator function is designed to be available and supportive of those experienced with the federal government funding and support systems as well as those with limited or no such experience. The Navigator interfaces with energy community representatives as they access this information, including the identification of funding opportunities and availability of tax credits, technical assistance resources, and agency points of contact that meet their described needs.
  1. NGO – Nongovernmental organization – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are typically mission-driven advocacy or service organizations in the nonprofit sector. There are large and small NGOs operating around the world and organized for just about every imaginable purpose. Harvard Law School.
  1. Philanthropic organizations – Organizations that exist for the purpose of promoting the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.
  1. POC – Point of Contact – The Point of Contact is the person cited in each funding opportunity or Federal agency who can answer questions or provide direction related to specific Federal funding opportunities.
  1. Priority points – Applicants receive priority points if the project is located in or serving one of the top 10% of counties or county equivalents based upon county risk score in the United States. Please use the Economic Risk Assessment Dashboard to determine if the county your project serves qualifies for priority points. The top 10% of counties or county equivalents are highlighted in red on the dashboard. For additional information on data sources used for this priority determination, please download the Data Sources for Rural Development Priorities document.
  1. Robert’s Rules – Robert’s Rules of Order is a generally accepted guide to parliamentary procedure. It is used by professional associations, fraternal organizations, and local governments. It is one of several Rules of Procedure options and is used in most governmental settings.
  1. Rules of Procedure – The adopted system of parliamentary procedure for an organization or government.
  1. Sam.govSAM.govThe System for Award Management (SAM) is the Official U.S. Government system that provides detailed, public descriptions of federal assistance listings available to state and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally recognized Indian tribal governments, territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups, and individuals.  https://sam.gov/content/about/this-site
  1. Skills match – A Skills Match is an applicant who has been identified as being a good fit based on how well their skills and location match the requirements of a job posting. An example of this process is shown here for coal mine workers in Appalachia. 
  1. Stats America – StatsAmerica provides actionable data for economic developers to use in site requests, development metrics, grant writing and strategic planning. This organization is partially funded by the EDA and useful for supporting information for grant writing. Stats America
  1. Stakeholder – They are generally defined as people, groups, organizations or businesses that have interest or concern in the community. Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the community’s actions, objectives and policies. Some examples of key community stakeholders are residents, community groups, developers , government workers (and the agencies they represent), business owners, neighborhood leaders, commission members and other groups from which the community draws its resources. Neighborhood Economics 
  1. Strategy- A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Oxford Languages English Dictionary
  1. Supply chain – A supply chain includes all the raw materials and parts that are made into a product and distributed up the chain for manufacture and sale. McKinsey Explainers
  1. Supportive services – Supportive services means services provided by the service provider to help residents enhance their way ofliving and achieve self-sufficiency. Law Insider Dictionary
  1. Tax base – The tax base is the total amount of income, property, assets, consumption, transactions, or other economic activity subject to taxation by a tax authority. A narrow tax base is non-neutral and inefficient. Tax Foundation.
  1. TA – Technical Assistance – For purposes of the Getting Started Guide, Technical Assistance is IWG agencies working collaboratively to provide assistance to coal, fossil fuel, and power plant communities that need help in the short term in order to set them on a path towards achieving mid and long term goals. Technical assistance may provide communities with information about federal programs that can support their goals throughout the energy transition.
  1. Vacancy Rate – The homeowner vacancy rate is the proportion of the homeowner inventory which is vacant for sale. For more information see Census housing vacancy definitions

Scroll to Top