Unlock Federal Funding Opportunities for the Carbon-Free Energy Transition

More than ever before, U.S. Federal Government Agencies recognize the need to accelerate the transition to a carbon-free energy system and are rapidly deploying resources from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA) legislation to advance that goal. However, the landscape of federal funding opportunities can seem overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start.  — This resource’s objective is to introduce stakeholders to the federal funding opportunities in the carbon-free energy transition and how to unlock these opportunities by partnering with SEPA.

Download the flyer: Partner with SEPA to Unlock Federal Funding Opportunities

How to partner with SEPA 

SEPA offers expertise and advisory services to those interested in exploring how to take advantage of the enormous investments across several primary focus areas: resilience, energy storage, transportation, policy, and emerging technologies, with a cross-cutting focus on energy equity. As a partner, SEPA can strengthen teams seeking federal funding by providing market research and benchmarking, technical assistance, and knowledge sharing, in addition to specific capabilities aligned to SEPA’s focus areas.

Get in touch with our experts

Aaron Smallwood headshot Aaron Smallwood

Vice President, Research & Industry Strategy

Email: [email protected]

Yok Potts Yok Potts

Director, Research & Industry Strategy | Policy

Email: [email protected]

Jared Leader headshot Jared Leader

Senior Director, Research & Industry Strategy | Resilience

Email: [email protected]



Garrett Fitzgerald headshot Garrett Fitzgerald

Senior Director, Research & Industry Strategy | Transportation Electrification

Email: [email protected]

Lakin Garth

Director, Research & Industry Strategy | Emerging Technologies

Email: [email protected]

Mary Palmer Headshot Mary Palmer

Director, Energy Equity & Inclusion

Email: [email protected]

Federal Funding Opportunities

The IRA and IIJA include a wide range of clean energy funding provisions spanning several federal agencies and many different offices within those agencies. This guide provides an overview of select funding opportunities from the USDA, the DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). While this list is not comprehensive, it provides an overview of the major programs currently offered to support the transition to a carbon-free energy system. This section includes an overview of funding opportunities for which SEPA can provide support.

Department of Agriculture 

The USDA plays an instrumental role in supporting the rural energy transition. Clean energy-related programs offered by the USDA through the IRA and IIJA include:

New ERA (Empowering Rural America Program)

The New ERA program offers loans, grants, and combined funding to rural electric cooperatives to make energy efficiency upgrades to eligible G&T systems, deploy renewable energy or carbon capture storage systems, or to purchase renewable energy. The program is flexible but focuses on greenhouse gas reductions in favor of prescribing specific solutions.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: July 27, 2023
  • Application Opened: July 31, 2023
  • Application Closed: September 15, 2023

PACE (Powering Affordable Clean Energy Program)

The PACE program offers loans, including partial loan forgiveness, for renewable energy projects that use wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, or renewable energy storage to provide affordable, clean, and reliable energy to rural areas. Eligible program applicants include electricity generators that sell at least 50% of their power to rural communities, especially those that are designated energy communities, disadvantaged communities, distressed communities, and/or Tribal communities.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: May 16, 2023
  • Application Opened: July 10, 2023
  • Application Closed: September 29, 2023

REAP (Rural Energy for America Program Guaranteed Loans and Grants)

The REAP program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: March 31, 2023
  • Application Window 1: December 31, 2023 – March 31, 2024
  • Application Window 2: June 30, 2024 – September 30, 2024

RBDG (Rural Business Development Grants)

The RBDG program provides rural small business entities with funding to support a range of activities, including technical assistance, pollution control and abatement, rural transportation improvement, technology-based economic development, and feasibility studies. Rural public entities, such as towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, federally recognized Tribes, and rural cooperatives are eligible to apply.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: December 4, 2023
  • Application Deadline: February 28, 2024

Department of Energy

DOE is the primary agency responsible for advancing the overarching federal commitment to the clean energy transition and accelerating energy technology, research, and development. The DOE’s programs are designed to address a broader range of energy challenges, from innovative technology deployment to infrastructure resilience. Below is a selection of clean energy-related programs offered by the DOE through funding from the IRA and IIJA.

ERA (Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas)

The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program under the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations enhances the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities with populations of 10,000 or fewer. ERA focuses on modernizing electric generation facilities, reducing electricity costs, and promoting economic opportunity in rural and remote areas. The DOE created this program as part of the IIJA, and it includes $1 billion funding for financial investment, technical assistance, and resources for clean energy demonstrations and scalable, replicable energy solutions. The program aims to fund utility technology solutions and projects within rural and/or remote communities.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: July 31, 2023
  • Round 1 FOA Applications ($300M) Due: August 2, 2023
  • Round 1 Grant Applications ($50M) Due: October 26, 2023
  • Round 2 Announcement Expected: Q2 / Q3 2024

GRIP (Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships Program)

The Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership under the Office of Electricity supports the resilience of the electric grid by funding technologies that support grid flexibility and demonstrate innovative approaches to supporting grid reliability and resilience. The program includes $10.5 billion in funding towards grid resilience utility and industry grants, smart grid grants, and grid innovation program grants. $2.5 billion of funding will be allocated towards “Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants” to support efforts to modernize the electric grid and mitigate impacts from extreme weathers and natural disasters.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: July 31, 2023
  • Round 1 FOA Applications ($300M) Due: August 2, 2023
  • Round 1 Grant Applications ($50M) Due: October 26, 2023
  • Round 2 Announcement Expected: Q2 / Q3 2024

GRSTF (Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grant Program)

The Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants administered by the Grid Deployment Office bolsters and modernizes the U.S. power grid against wildfires, extreme weather, and other climate crisis-induced natural disasters. Over five years, it provides $2.3 billion of funding to states, territories, and federally recognized Indian Tribes for projects that benefit the community and provide clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Utilities are eligible for funding. Eligible projects include resilience measures to mitigate the impact of disruptive events such as weatherization, fire prevention, distributed energy resources, and energy storage. The program also requires that DACs receive 40% of funding per the Federal Justice40 Initiative.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: September 28, 2023
  • Tribal Application Deadline: August 31, 2023
  • State and Territorial Application Deadline: May 31, 2023
  • SLTT-Specific Funding Deadlines: Varies by State

TELGP (Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program)

The TELGP is a partial loan guarantee program that can guarantee up to $2 billion in loans to support economic opportunities to Tribes through energy development projects and activities.  This program can support Tribal entities in transitioning to cleaner modes of transport.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement (Amended): May 25, 2022

R-STEP (Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning)

The R-STEP program provides state and local governments funding and technical assistance to support the creation or expansion of state-based programs and initiatives that improve renewable energy siting, planning, and permitting processes and address barriers to future sisting and deployment of large-scale renewable energy facilities at the state and local levels.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: August 2023
  • Submission Window: September 12, 2023 – November 3, 2023
  • Anticipated Selection: Early 2024

EFG (Energy Future Grants)

The EFG program offers financial and technical assistance to state, local, and Tribal government-led partnerships to advance clean energy program innovation, enhance energy affordability and access, and ensure that related benefits flow to disadvantaged communities.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: July 24, 2023
  • Submission Deadline: November 10, 2023

Building Codes Implementation for Efficiency and Resilience Program

The Building Codes Implementation for Efficiency and Resilience Program offers competitive grants to states and state partnerships to enable the implementation of updated building energy codes. Grant funding may be used to provide training and materials, collect and disseminate data on implementation, plan for implementation and compliance, address implementation needs, and implement updates in building energy codes.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: December 19, 2022
  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: January 31, 2023
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: March 27, 2023
  • Selections Announced: July 12, 2023

AFFECT (Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies)

The AFFECT program provides grants to federal agencies to make energy and water efficiency upgrades to federal buildings in order to meet requirements.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: March 23, 2023
  • Summer 2023 Application Deadline: May 31, 2023
  • Spring 2024 Submission Deadline: April 19, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Submission Deadline: April 18, 2025

Technical Assistance for Building Energy Codes

The technical assistance program offers grants to states and local governments with code making authority to adopt updated building energy codes, zero energy codes, or equivalent codes/standards.

Key Milestones

  • Formula Funding Announcement: September 19, 2023
  • Letter of Intent Deadline: January 31, 2024
  • Full Application Deadline: September 30, 2025

EECBG (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Program)

The EECBG program offers formula and competitive grants to states, local governments, and Tribes to implement energy use and fossil fuel emissions reduction strategies, and to improve energy efficiency. Awardees can use funds to develop and implement an energy efficiency strategy, retain technical consultant services for strategy development, conduct energy audits, establish financial incentive programs, provide qualifying subgrants for energy efficiency retrofits, design and implement energy efficiency programs, implement energy efficient building codes, deploy DERs that increase energy efficiency, and other qualified activities stipulated by the program.

Key Milestones

  • Competitive Funding Announcement: April 2023
  • Pre-Application Information Sheet due ASAP
  • State and Territory Applications due ASAP
  • Competitive Program Application Deadline: August 21, 2023
  • Competitive Program Selectees Announcement: October 12, 2023
  • Formula Awardee Announcements:  Ongoing
  • Local Government and Tribal Applications Deadline: April 30, 2024

TSED (Transmission Siting and Economic Development Grants Program)

The TSED program provides grants to transmission siting authorities, or other state, local, or Tribal governmental entities to facilitate and expedite the siting and permitting of transmission projects. TSED grants can also be used for economic development activities in affected communities.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: August 29, 2023
  • Concept Paper Deadline: November 17, 2023
  • Full Application Deadline: April 5, 2024

DES (Distributed Energy Systems Demonstrations Program)

The DES program provides funding to help the U.S. develop more reliable, resilient, and cost-effective energy systems that can better support the grid as electric vehicles, energy storage, and electrification increase. The program will support utility or private sector organizations to design and demonstrate distributed energy systems with high levels of variable clean energy resources.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: September 2023
  • Concept Paper Deadline: December 13, 2023
  • Full Application Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Expected Timeframe for Selection Notifications: Summer 2024
  • Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: Q3 or Q4 2023

Renew America’s Nonprofits

The Renew America’s Nonprofits program provides grants to nonprofit organizations that serve as “prime” recipients, who in turn curate a portfolio of “subrecipients” seeking to implement energy efficiency upgrades in their buildings. Grant recipients can use the funds to reduce energy or fuel use in buildings owned and operated by 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Recipients can work with teaming partners to expand their capabilities.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: May 24, 2023
  • Letter of Intent Deadline:June 29, 2023
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: August 3, 2023
  • Selectee Announcement: October 25, 2023

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plays a critical role in reducing carbon emissions from the energy and transportation sectors. The EPA offers the following clean energy-related programs through the IRA and IIJA:

Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program

The Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program serves as an investment vehicle to replace heavy-duty vehicles with zero-emission vehicles, develop charging and fueling infrastructure, and engage in related workforce development and planning activities.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: May 5, 2023
  • RFI Deadline: June 5, 2023

GGRF (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund) – Solar for All

The Solar for All Program, a part of the GGRF, provides grant funding to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits to spur solar program investment for low-income communities.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: June 28, 2023
  • Notice of Intent Deadlines: July 31, 2023 (States, DC, PR); August 14, 2023 (territories, municipalities, and nonprofits); and August 28, 2023 (Tribal Governments)
  • Application Deadline: October 12, 2023

CPRG (Climate Pollution Reduction Grants)

The CPRG program provides grant funding to states, local governments, Tribes, and territories to develop and implement plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The funding includes competitive planning and implementation grants.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: March 1, 2023
  • Priority Climate Action Plan: March 1, 2024 (states) and April 1, 2024 (Tribes and territories)
  • Implementation Grant Notice of Intent Deadline: February 1, 2024 (states) and March 1, 2024 (Tribes and territories)
  • Implementation Grant Application Deadline: April 1, 2024 (states) and May 1, 2024 (Tribes and territories)
  • Comprehensive Climate Action Plan: Mid-2025 (states) and Mid-2027 (Tribes and territories)

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation (DOT) plays a critical role in reducing emissions in the transportation sector through electrification and the development and proliferation of alternative fuel technologies.

CFI (Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program)

The CFI program provides funding to deploy public EV charging and other alternative fueling infrastructure through corridor charging and community charging program tracks. State, local, Tribal and territorial governments; planning organizations; and transportation providers can use funding for infrastructure planning, capital investments, technology demonstrations, and accessibility projects.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: March 14, 2023
  • Applications Deadline: June 13, 2023

Other Agencies

Department of Interior Tribal Electrification Program (TEP)

The TEP provides funding to Tribal governments for clean energy household electrification, including planning and implementation of household electrification programs.

Key Milestones

  • Announcement: August 15, 2023
  • Pre-application Deadline: September 18, 2023
  • Full Application Opening: November 6, 2023
  • Full Application Deadline: December 22, 2023
  • Award Announcements: March 1, 2024

Department of the Treasury Tax Incentives

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers several credits and deductions under the IRA:

Energy-related Credits and deductions
Tax credits and deductions are available to entities for investments in alternative/clean fuel/vehicle investments, advanced energy projects, clean energy systems (ITC), clean energy production (PTC), clean hydrogen, energy efficiency, and other related activities as stipulated by the IRA.

Bonus Incentive Credits
Bonus incentives can provide additional incentives for qualified clean energy projects in low-income or designated energy communities, or projects that include wage and apprenticeship stipulations or significant domestic content.

Elective Pay
The IRA also stipulates the creation of an “elective pay” (also referred to as “direct pay”) system that allows federal tax-exempt entities to benefit from IRS credits and deductions to receive payment up to the full value of these credits.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP)

HUD supports the clean energy transition by leading decarbonization efforts in public housing that may reverberate across the residential buildings sector. Among other uses, GRRP funding is available to improve energy efficiency, implement the use of zero-emission electricity generation, energy storage, or building electrification strategies, and address climate resilience for eligible HUD-assisted multifamily properties.

Key Milestones

  • Elements Cohort Application Waves: June 2023, September 2023, January 2024, and March 2024
  • Leading Edge Cohort Application Waves: July 2023, October 2023, January 2024, and April 2024
  • Comprehensive Cohort Application Waves: August 2023, November 2023, February 2023, and May 2024

Appendix: Other IRA/IIJA Clean Energy Funding


B&I (Business and Industry Loan Guarantees): More Information
ERC (Energy Resource Conservation Program): More Information
HBIIP (Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program): More Information
HECG (High Energy Cost Grants): More Information
IRP (Intermediary Relending Program): More Information
RBDG (Rural Business Development Grants): More Information
REDLG (Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants): More Information
RESP (Rural Energy Savings Program): More Information
ReConnect Loan and Grant Program: More Information


EIR (Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program): More Information
Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program: More Information
CEML (Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and Former Mine Land): More Information
Advancing Equity Through Workforce Partnerships Funding Program: More Information
Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration Funding Program: More Information
Energy Storage Demonstration and Pilot Grant Program: More Information
Long Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Initiative and Joint Program: More Information
Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance (RMUC) Program: More Information
Renew America’s Schools: More Information
Workforce Development and Business Owner Training Programs: More Information
TFP (Transmission Facilitation Program): More Information
Energy Efficient Transformer Rebates: More Information
Extended Product System Rebates: More Information
Home Energy Rebate Programs: More Information
Silicon Solar Manufacturing and Dual-use Photovoltaics Incubator: More Information
Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling And 2nd Life Apps: More Information
Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grants: More Information


Clean School Bus Program: More Information
GGRF (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund) – National Clean Investment Fund: More Information
GGRF (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund) – Clean Communities Investment Accelerator: More Information


Low-No (Low or No Emission Vehicle) Program: More Information
Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program: More Information
RCN (Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods) Program: More Information
SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation) Grants Program: More Information
TCP (Thriving Communities Program): More Information
TOD (Transit Oriented Development Planning Program: More Information