Federal Funding

Hawaii Energy has been tracking federal funding opportunities related to clean energy and has identified which ones would benefit the state and local businesses.

Infrastructure Bill

Signed in 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, or Infrastructure Bill) is providing $1 trillion in funding to be shared between states and local governments to upgrade outdated infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, broadband and energy projects.

There are two pathways to access the funding —a portion will go directly to state and government agencies via formula funding, while the remainder will be made available to a wider audience through competitive grants.

In the energy sector, there are a variety of opportunities for the implementation of energy efficiency-related measures and improvements. In the transportation sector, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz announced on February 10, 2022 that Hawaii will receive more than $2.6 million in new funding to expand its network of electric vehicle charging stations. Schatz said that funds can be applied for the installation and operation of EV charging stations.

The following opportunities reflect funding available as a whole to all states, as specific amounts to Hawaii are yet to be identified.

Formula Funding
Provides funding to States to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability. Hawaii is set to receive $2.6 million to support EV charging network expansion.

A new DOT program established to invest in projects that support a reduction in transportation emissions.

  • Eligible projects: Include transportation electrification and EV charging, public transportation, including Bus Rapid Transit, infrastructure for bicycling and walking, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) improvements, infrastructure to support congestion pricing, diesel engine retrofits, and port electrification.
  • Additional Requirements:
    • Of funding, 65% will be suballocated by population to support eligible project priorities in local communities.
    • States will also be required to develop emission carbon reduction strategies.

Provides grants to States and Territories through the State Energy Program, with additional money going to priority states with the highest energy consumption and emissions per capita, to establish revolving loan funds to assist residential and commercial building owners with conducting energy audits and making energy efficiency upgrades to their homes and facilities.

Provides funding to reduce fossil fuel emissions and total energy use and create jobs by working with cities, counties, states, U.S. territories, and Indian tribes to implement and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects and programs in the transportation, building, and other sectors.

Provides funding to enable low-income families to reduce their energy consumption by making their dwellings more energy efficient.

  • Allotments: As a formula grant program, funding flows from DOE to state and territorial governments and then to local governments and weatherization agencies. State and territory allocations are determined by DOE and include a base allocation and a formula allocation. The formula allocation depends upon three factors: population, climate, and residential energy expenditure. As these factors change for a particular state or territory, the formula allocation portion will change. The funding level for the WAP also affects the formula allocation for a state or territory.
  • In Hawaii, the Weatherization Assistance Program is administered by the State’s Office of Community Services. Click here to learn more.
  • On March 30, 2022, US Senator Mazie Hirono announced Hawaii would receive $3.6 million for its Weatherization Assistance Program. Click here to read Sen. Hirono’s announcement.
Competitive Grants

Provides grants to States to enable cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes.

  • Eligible applicants: Relevant state agencies; partnerships between state agencies and: local building code agencies, codes and standards developers, associations of builders and design and construction professionals, local and utility energy efficiency programs, consumer/efficiency/environmental advocates, and others.

Provides grants to institutions of higher education to establish building training and assessment centers to educate and train building technicians and engineers on implementing modern building technologies.

  • Eligible applicants: Institutions of higher education, tribal colleges or universities.

Awards grants to pay the Federal share of associated 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 buildings technologies.

  • Eligible applicants: Nonprofit partnerships.

Allows the Secretary to award competitive grants to make energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fueled vehicle upgrades and improvements at public schools.

  • Eligible applicants: Consortia of: education agencies, schools, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, community partners.

Award grants to provide nonprofit buildings with materials to improve their energy efficiency.

  • Eligible applicants: Non-profit organizations

Provides grant funding for projects to improve water and energy efficiency, including a $100M set aside for natural infrastructure projects.

  • Eligible applicants: Any State, Indian tribe, irrigation district, water district, any organization or entity with water or power delivery authority, or any nonprofit conservation organization acting in partnership with and with the agreement of an entity described above, or nonprofit conservation organizations that use grant funding for projects to improve the condition of a natural feature or nature-based feature on Federal land.

Provides grants to States to train individuals to conduct energy audits or surveys of commercial and residential buildings.

  • Eligible applicants: States

Provides funding to demonstrate solar energy technologies.

  • Eligible applicants: Institutions of higher education including minority serving institutions, National Laboratories, Federal research agencies, state research agencies, a research agency associated with a territory or freely associated state, a tribal energy development organization, an Indian tribe, a tribal organization, a Native Hawaiian community-based organization, industrial entities, nonprofit research organizations, or consortia thereof.

Provides funding to demonstrate wind energy technologies.

  • Eligible applicants: Institutions of higher education including minority serving institutions, National Laboratories, Federal research agencies, state research agencies, a research agency associated with a territory or freely associated state, a tribal energy development organization, an Indian tribe, a tribal organization, a Native Hawaiian community-based organization, industrial entities, nonprofit research organizations, or consortia thereof.
Source: “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Formula and Competitive Funding by Agency,” Democratic Policy & Communications Committee