DOE Funding Opportunity for MAPC Municipalities to Invest in Clean Energy Projects – Apply Now!

DOE Funding Opportunity for MAPC Municipalities to Invest in Clean Energy Projects – Apply Now!

Written by Clean Energy and Climate Intern Yaritza Peña and Senior Clean Energy Specialist Brooks Winner

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is granting more than $3 million in formula funding to MAPC municipalities with populations over 35,000 through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. This grant program supports local governments in their efforts to cut carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and reduce energy use. The EECBG program also includes an emphasis on programs and projects that prioritize the needs of low-income, disadvantaged, and environmental justice communities. Created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the program supports the Biden Administration’s goal of achieving a carbon-free electric grid by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by 2050. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is tasked with administering an additional $2.49 million to smaller municipalities with populations under 35,000 in the Commonwealth.

View a recording of DOE’s webinar for local governments here and slides here.

MAPC’s Clean Energy Department is hosting a webinar on the EECBG for Greater Boston municipalities on Thursday, March 16 at 11:00 a.m. Register for the webinar here.

Program Details and Funding Options

EECBG Program funding is flexible and can be used as a seed investment to fund or launch clean energy strategies, projects, and programs for municipal and community-wide purposes. Eligible initiatives include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategy development
  • Energy efficiency retrofits
  • Energy efficiency and conservation programs
  • Building codes, inspections, and energy audits
  • Financial incentive programs
  • Transportation program development and implementation

MAPC encourages municipalities to consider using this funding to hire new staff to support local climate equity initiatives. This funding can also be used to implement strategies from local climate action or comprehensive plans, particularly projects and programs that prioritize disadvantaged neighborhoods or communities (as defined by DOE).

Municipalities can receive their funding either as a grant or as a voucher that covers technical assistance, equipment purchases, and installation rebates. Vouchers require significantly less application materials and will lighten administrative burdens for staff with limited capacity. DOE encourages municipalities that will receive less than $250,000 in funding to opt into the voucher pathway. DOE has not yet released a full list of eligible uses for vouchers, but will include technical assistance, equipment purchases, and installation rebates. If your community would like to use a voucher, DOE recommends that municipalities indicate that on the Optional Information Collection Form. A municipality may decide to switch back to a regular grant allocation for your application if you don’t think the voucher will serve your needs in the same way that the funding allocation (grant) would.

Eligible entities for EECBG funding in Massachusetts include cities with a population of more than 35,000. A list of eligible communities can be found here. DOE encourages local governments to consider teaming together to advance shared projects, programs, or staff hires.

Cities and towns not eligible for the EECBG Formula Grant can be considered for sub-grant funding through forthcoming EECBG Competitive Grants. DOER is also eligible and will apply for funding from DOE that it can administer to Massachusetts municipalities not included in the formula program.

Advance Energy Justice through EECBG Funding

As a Justice40 Initiative the EECBG Program underscores the critical need to empower underinvested and disadvantaged communities in their clean energy transitions. DOE strongly encourages municipalities to use their EECBG funds in ways that align with climate equity priorities. These include programs and projects that help disadvantaged communities to:

  • Decrease their energy burden
  • Decrease environmental exposures and burdens
  • Increase access to low-cost capital
  • Increase job creation and training
  • Support clean energy businesses and contracting for minority- and women-owned businesses
  • Support energy resilience
  • Increase equity in clean energy technology access and adoption
  • Support opportunities for energy democracy such as community ownership

Municipalities can find a federal map of Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) here. If your community is not included on this map, you can still advance equity in your work for focusing your programs or projects on low-income households, English-isolated households, and communities of color in your municipality. Massachusetts has also defined and mapped Environmental Justice communities using a combination of criteria that can serve as a helpful reference point.

How to Apply

Application information and introductory webinar recordings are available on the Formula Grant Application Hub.

Pre-award information sheets for both grants and vouchers are due by April 28, 2023. Local governments and Tribes can then apply for funding through January 2024, but all applicants must submit the pre-award information sheet by April 28 of this year.

Municipalities that would like to apply for the EECBG grant funds, instead of the voucher, are encouraged to register as soon as possible in the federal SAM system if they are not already signed up. Please note that this process takes several weeks. More information on the grant application steps and the voucher and grant application pathways can be found in the DOE webinar recording and accompanying slides.

A timeline for the DOE funding application.

Questions about EECBG funding can be directed to DOE by emailing MAPC can also provide input for municipalities on voucher and grant application ideas; please email