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Applications Now Open for the Renew America’s Schools Program

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Earlier today, the Office of State and Community Energy Programs announced that applications are open for the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize, which will award an anticipated $180 million to districts across the country engaging in strategic partnerships to build capacity and implement energy upgrades in their schools. Eligible submissions will lower utilities costs, improve indoor air quality, and foster healthier learning environments across a portfolio of 10 or more school facilities. Competitors submitting proposals should be organizations or teams with the capacity to aggregate and manage projects across a portfolio.

The 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize will invest in school facilities that demonstrate the need for both energy improvements and financing, with a focus on Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) that qualify as disadvantaged and/or rural. Eligible improvements – like new HVAC and ventilation systems, building envelope and lighting projects, and alternative fuel and renewable energy technologies – will result in improved health outcomes, energy savings, and/or energy cost savings.

The 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize is a 3-phase award. During Phase 1, competitors will build teams and curate lists of school facilities that demonstrate both need and eligibility for investment. Each Phase 1 Winner will earn a cash prize of $300,000 and move on to Phases 2 and 3, during which they will enter and execute a Cooperative Agreement with DOE. Awards made in Phases 2 and 3 will vary by portfolio size but could range from $7.5 million to $15 million. DOE will issue the largest awards to portfolios serving 20 or more school facilities, offering a total of $15,300,000 to Winners in this category for completing all three phases.

The 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize is the second round of funding from the $500 million Renew America’s Schools Program, which announced selections for its first round of funding in June of 2023 – investing $178 million in over 90 school facilities across 22 states, and directly benefitting about 74,000 students and 5,000 teachers.

The 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize iterates on the previous Renew America’s Schools Grant. Utilizing a new prize-to-cooperative-agreement funding mechanism, the 2024 Prize streamlines the application process, lowering barriers to entry for LEAs and increasing the accessibility of federal funds. This model promotes partnerships between school districts and industry experts, encouraging the formation of stakeholder support networks that can provide LEAs earlier, more targeted supports, help them build internal expertise, and find pathways to additional financing. DOE will prioritize applications that demonstrate replicable partnership models, enhance the impact of federal funds, allow federal dollars to make their way into more communities, and stimulate further investments in the K-12 energy sector.

Ready to build a team? To facilitate the formation of project teams for this Prize, DOE is continuing to gather information for the “Teaming Partner List.” The Teaming Partner List allows prospective participants on an application to express their interest to other competitors, explore potential partnerships, and form project teams. The Teaming Partner List will be regularly updated to reflect new teaming partners who provide their organization’s information.

Participate Today:

  1. Visit the HeroX site for weekly updates to the Teaming Partner list, to find information about webinars and office hours, and to start your application!
  2. Visit the Renew America’s Schools website and read the Fact Sheet to learn more about the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize.
  3. Add your email HERE to receive updates about the Renew America’s Schools Program.
  4. Follow instructions in the Media Promotion Toolkit to amplify the news about applications opening for the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize.
  5. Share this email with any media contacts who are interested in covering the news through their channels (newsletters, social media, press, blogs, etc.).

Please reach out to with any additional questions. Submissions for the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize are due on Thursday, June 13 at 5PM ET.

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