Energy Efficiency - April 7, 2022
White House Starts $500 Million Energy Efficiency Program for Schools
The White House announced the Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure to upgrade public schools with modern, clean, energy-efficient facilities and transportation. The action plan activates the entire federal government to advance solutions including energy efficiency retrofits, electric school buses, and resilient design.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is launching a $500 million grant program through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make public schools more energy efficient. This new program will lower energy costs, improve air quality and prioritize schools most in need.
The Administration is supporting states, school districts, and local communities in leveraging American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief resources to address school infrastructure needs like repairing, upgrading, or replacing of ventilation systems; purchasing air filters and portable air cleaning devices; and fixing doors and windows so that schools can stay open for in-person learning. The Department of Treasury will soon release additional information to help school districts understand how they can use State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for a range of air quality and other school facility improvements, including energy efficiency.
The plan will save schools and taxpayers money. Public K-12 districts spend roughly $8 billion a year on energy bills. Energy efficiency improvements to HVAC systems, lighting, insulation, and other energy upgrades can not only protect the health of our children, but also unlock significant savings to go toward students and learning. Off-the-shelf improvements can provide energy savings of 10 to 30% and broader upgrades can unlock even more savings for years to come.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing its commitment to using its array of rural development loan and grant programs to support electric school bus acquisition, charging station infrastructure, energy efficiency investments at schools, and broadband and distance learning in rural school districts.
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