Federal Funding

Federal Clean Energy and Climate Funding

The GEO is proactively planning for upcoming federal funding opportunities to support the State of Maine’s climate, clean energy, and economic goals.  

In November 2021, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The legislation is a significant investment that is directing billions of dollars in funding administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate the clean energy transition. The funding aims to advance the Biden Administration and Congressional goals of improving energy resilience and mitigating climate risk, investing in modernized grid infrastructure and clean energy solutions, and creating good-paying jobs.  

‘For the next five years, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will stand up 60 new DOE programs, including 16 demonstration and 32 deployment programs, and expands funding for 12 existing Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment (RDD&D) programs.’ Learn more here.  

In August 2022, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), legislation that directs nearly $370 billion to climate change related programs aimed at accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies, reducing emissions, lowering energy prices, and building the resiliency of our energy system. This law, through both the creation of new programs and the extension of existing programs, will provide substantial opportunities to expand clean energy manufacturing, distributed generation, building modernization, and energy efficiency in Maine and across the country. The IRA puts the U.S. on a path to roughly 40% emissions reductions by 2030 while committing to delivering 40% of the overall benefits of these investments to marginalized, underserved, and overburdened communities.  

The GEO is tracking and advancing multiple opportunities under both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. See the “Federal Funding Programs” and “Highlighted Programs for Communities, Non-Profits and Other Entities” below for details and information on specific programs.

How to Engage

There are several ways to engage in these new opportunities including through the utilization of tax credits, rebate programs, and workforce training programs, among others. This webpage will be updated as federal guidance and more information becomes available.  

The GEO is working collaboratively with other public and private entities to advance federal funding opportunities in Maine. To support these efforts, the GEO is interested in learning more about energy infrastructure projects communities across the state may be considering or in the process of developing. Entities including communities, businesses, non-profits, local and Tribal governments, utilities and other organizations may complete this survey form to inform future coordination, outreach and application efforts related to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act opportunities.  

Federal Funding Opportunities

The section below provides information on energy programs available through both BIL and IRA that the GEO, or other state government partners, may be eligible to receive and administer. For updates on the programs and applications that the GEO is involved with, please sign up here.  Other entities such as communities, businesses, and utilities may be eligible to apply for these programs as well, and the GEO encourages interested parties to explore specific program eligibility guidelines. The “Highlighted Programs for Communities, Non-Profits, and Other Entities” section at the bottom of this page will be updated on a regular basis with programs that the GEO believes may be of particular interest to a diverse range of entities across the state.  

Federal agencies may issue a Request for Information (RFI) prior to issuing final program rules, in order to solicit information and input regarding program design. Links to RFI responses submitted by the GEO are included in the program summaries below, where applicable.  

This section will be updated periodically. Please refer to the federal webpages linked for each program for the most up-to-date information and details about program eligibility. 

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) 

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program is designed to assist states, local governments, and Tribes in implementing strategies to reduce energy use, to reduce fossil fuel emissions, and to improve energy efficiency. The $550,000,000 program, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, has both competitive and formula grants.

The Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, with support from GEO, applied and was approved for funding in summer 2023.

Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program  

The $250,00,000 Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is designed to provide capitalization grants to state and territories to establish revolving loan funds to invest in energy efficiency upgrades. Link to federal info page here.  

Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) 

The $1 billion Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, seeks to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people. Link to federal info page here

The GEO submitted a response to an RFI for the program in December 2022, linked here. The GEO supported and led several applications submitted in August 2023, in coordination with partners.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund – Solar for All 

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) is a $27 billion investment through the Inflation Reduction Act aimed at delivering lower energy costs and economic revitalization to communities, including those that have historically been left behind. The GGRF includes the Solar for All grant competitions, with formal competitions expected to open by summer 2023. The Governor’s Energy Office submitted a letter of intent to apply on behalf of the state for an award under the Solar for All program.  Learn more here.  

Grid Resilience Formula Grant 

Under Section 40101(d) of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the U.S. Department of Energy allocates funding per a federal formula to States and Indian Tribes to improve the resilience of the electric grid against disruptive events.  

The GEO submitted an application for formula funds under this program and was approved in July 2023. See the information about the GEO’s application here.  

Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) 

The U.S. DOE’s Grid Deployment Office is administering the $10.5 GRIP program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to improve grid resilience and enhance the power grid's ability to deliver cheaper and cleaner energy. The program includes three funding mechanisms:  

1. Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants ($2.5 billion)  

2. Smart Grid Grants ($3 billion) 

3. Grid Innovation Program ($5 billion) 

The first round of funding for this program is $3.8 billion for FY 22 and 23. Concept papers are a required first step in the application process and submission deadlines vary by funding mechanism. Applications for the first round have closed. Future rounds of funding are anticipated. Link to federal info page here.  

Home Energy Rebates Programs 

Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEEHRA) 

The Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates will award grants to State energy offices and tribal entities to develop and implement a high-efficiency electric home rebate program. These, along with the Home Efficiency Rebates, comprise the Home Energy Rebate Programs authorized through the Inflation Reduction Act. The program is also known as the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA) Program. Application guidance has been released and the state plans to work with partners to design programs in line with the guidance, find out more  here

Home Efficiency Rebates (HOMES)  

Home Efficiency Rebates will award grants to State energy offices to provide rebates that discount the price of energy-saving retrofits in single-family and multi-family buildings. These, along with the Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates, comprise the Home Energy Rebate Programs authorized through the Inflation Reduction Act. The program is also known as (1) the Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole House Rebate Program or (2) Home Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES). Link to federal info page here.  

The GEO submitted a response to an RFI for the programs in March 2023, linked here (PDF).

Preparing Workers and Businesses to Deliver Energy Efficiency and Building Electrification Measures

The GEO submitted a response to an RFI in January 2023, linked here (PDF). See individual program descriptions below. 

State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants 

This program provides $200 million in grants for States to develop and implement a State program which shall provide training and education to contractors involved in the installation of home energy efficiency and electrification improvements, including improvements eligible for rebates under a HOMES or HEEHRA rebate program, as defined in Section 50121(d) and 50122(d) of the Inflation Reduction Act, respectively. Link to federal info page here.  

Energy Auditor Training 

The Energy Auditor Training Grant Program is designed to provide a total of $40 million in grants, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to eligible States to train individuals to conduct energy audits or surveys of commercial and residential buildings to build the clean energy workforce, save customers money on their energy bills, and reduce pollution from building energy use. Link to federal info page here.  

Career Skills Training 

The Career Skills Training Program is designed to provide $10 million in grants, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to pay the Federal share of career skills training programs under which students concurrently receive classroom instruction and on-the-job training for the purpose of obtaining an industry-related certification to install energy efficient building technologies. Link to federal info page here.

Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs  

Provides funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for projects that demonstrate the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of, clean hydrogen through regional clean hydrogen hubs. See information on the GEO’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub webpage here.  

Ride and Drive Electric 

The $51 million Ride and Drive Electric funding opportunity through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law aims to accelerate the electrification of the nation’s transportation sector and spur private sector investments in clean transportation. See the funding opportunity announcement here.

Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) Funding Opportunity to Address Key Deployment Challenges for Offshore, Land-Based, and Distributed Wind

This opportunity provides $28 million for projects to lower costs and address barriers to deployment of wind energy in all its applications—offshore, land-based, and distributed. Link to federal info page here.

Highlighted Programs for Communities, Non-profits and Other Entities

Empowering Rural America  

This $9.7 billion program funded through the Inflation Reduction Act provides grants and/or loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for rural electric cooperatives to make energy efficiency improvements to eligible generation and transmission systems, to purchase, build, or deploy renewable energy, zero-emission systems, carbon capture storage systems, or to purchase renewable energy. Link to federal info page here.  

Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program  

With $1 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, PACE helps make clean, affordable, and reliable energy accessible to the people of rural America. Under PACE, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will forgive up to 60 percent of loans for renewable energy projects that use wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, or biomass, as well as for renewable energy storage projects. Link to federal info page here

Distributed Energy Systems Demonstrations 

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled “Distributed Energy Systems Demonstrations Funding Opportunity Announcement”. The goal of this new investment area is to support demonstrations that de-risk technologies needed to manage variable generation; control flexible loads; and integrate energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging, and other facilities into the U.S. transmission and distribution grids. 

OCED anticipates funding commercial-scale projects that demonstrate approaches that integrate grid-edge renewable and distributed energy systems with broader energy networks. These projects will seek to demonstrate reliable operations and system-wide value in the context of distribution grids with high levels of variable renewable generation and flexible load assets. 

The advanced Notice of Intent (NOI or Notice) announcement, linked here, describes a preliminary plan that will evolve during the FOA development process.