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Got Energy Needs? Check Out This New Grant!

May 23, 2024

house with solar panel sitting on architectural drawings

The Vermont Department of Public Service announced its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) competitive program. This federal program supports enhancing energy efficiency and reducing fossil fuel emissions, particularly in the transportation and building sectors. EECBG funding can further your municipality's Municipal Energy Resiliency Program (MERP) work or its other energy initiatives.

What does this program fund?

This programs funds multiple types of activities:

  • Strategy Development and Implementation, including energy committee support.
  • Retaining Technical Consulting Services to develop goals, strategies, progress measures, annual reports, and other services. Does not include equipment purchases/installation or weatherization work.
  • Residential and Commercial Building Audits. See “building” definition on page 5 of the RFP.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs for Buildings and Facilities, including designing and operating programs, public education, measures/verification protocols, and technology identification. Does not include equipment purchases/installation or weatherization work.
  • Conservation of Transportation Energy, including but not limited to employer flex time use; satellite work centers; energy efficient zoning/siting guidelines, bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure planning; traffic signal synchronization, municipal fleet conversions, or other energy conservation measures.
  • Building Code and Inspection Services. Development, adoption, and/or implementation of building codes, inspection services or trainings/workshops to promote building energy efficiency.

Details for each activity type are available in the grant Request for Proposals.

How does my community apply?

Applications may be submitted via email or hard copy. Either way, your application must be received by August 9, 2024, at 4:30 pm. You can submit questions to the Department, which will post all questions and their answers on the grant webpage. Eligible municipalities can apply for $50,000 to $100,000.

Municipalities that received EECBG grants directly from the US Department of Energy are not eligible for this grant. This includes the Town of Bennington, Town of Brattleboro, City of Burlington, Town of Colchester, Town of Essex, Town of Hartford, Town of Milton, City of Rutland, City of South Burlington, and Town of Williston.

What will make our application competitive?
  • Preference will be given to projects requesting lower funding amounts than comparable projects.
  • Projects that engage underrepresented or underserved groups to ensure that their needs are considered and addressed are more competitive.
  • Projects related to buildings should focus on designing and operating energy efficiency initiatives, but may not include actual weatherization work, equipment purchases, or installation activities. (think energy audit, improvement designs, engagement activities, workforce development and training programs).
  • Projects that trigger Davis Bacon Act or Build America Buy America Act requirements, or extensive National Environmental Protection Act reporting are strongly discouraged (and may not be accepted).

Awardees will need to separately track projects costs related to administration, project activities, and evaluation (if allowable). Be sure to talk to your municipal Treasurer before applying to alert them to the tracking requirement.

How can my community learn more?

Program information is available on the Department's grant webpage

You can submit questions to the Department using until June 3rd. The Department will post questions and answers on the program webpage by June 7th.

Where can my community find help with grant writing or management?

VLCT published a resource, Increasing Municipal Capacity for Grants, that offers ideas for assistance with grants. Many of the capacity builders also provide project management services. Hiring experienced project management assistance can increase the speed of project development and help avoid cost, permitting, and other development surprises.