Deadline
-
August 8, 2024
3:00 pm
ET

Elective Pay - Blueprints for Communities

Information

Description

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes historic tax provisions that will accelerate the deployment of clean energy, clean vehicles, clean buildings, and clean manufacturing, and save communities money on their energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to support implementation of several of these tax provisions.

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) Elective Pay (often called “direct pay”) provisions, tax-exempt and governmental entities can, for the first time, receive a payment equal to the full value of tax credits for building qualifying clean energy projects. This new mechanism presents a potentially transformative opportunity for communities and non-profits, including many DOE grant and loan recipients, to directly benefit from federal tax credits for clean energy. In addition, the IRA modified the 179d energy efficient commercial building property tax deduction to increase the incentive for energy efficient investments and expand accessibility to tax-exempt entities. However, tax-exempt entities affected by these historic provisions (including state, territory, and local governments; Tribes; and non-profits) do not have significant experience with tax filings and often have limited capacity to dedicate to navigating IRS regulations and filing processes. This funding opportunity aims to address this knowledge gap, supporting the development of additional resources to guide communities as they claim IRA tax credits through Elective Pay and complete projects that create good-paying jobs, lower energy costs, and advance an equitable transition to a clean and resilient energy system.

The Elective Pay – Blueprints for Communities opportunity was launched in July 2024 to support the development of additional resources for these communities as they plan and execute projects which are eligible for clean energy tax credits through Elective Pay or the 179d energy efficient commercial building property tax deduction. The opportunity envisions blueprints as documents that will help guide interested entities through all stages of a sample project, identifying important considerations, opportunities, and restrictions along the road to claiming Elective Pay. Blueprints developed through this funding opportunity will address multiple topics central to planning and implementing an eligible project, potentially including but not limited to the following: building a project team; funding and financing; designing an eligible project; documentation and record keeping; tax year determination; prevailing wage, apprenticeship, and domestic content requirements; IRS pre-registration; and tax return filing.  

This funding opportunity is managed by ENERGYWERX in partnership with DOE, a collaboration made possible through an innovative Partnership Intermediary Agreement set up by the DOE's Office of Technology Transitions. This agreement enables ENERGYWERX to broaden DOE’s engagement with innovative organizations and non-traditional partners, facilitating the rapid development, scaling, and deployment of clean energy solutions.  

Applications for this funding opportunity opened on July 7, 2024, and will close at 3:00 p.m. (Eastern) on  August 8, 2024. DOE anticipates that applicants will be notified of their selection by August 2024 and that this engagement will run through February 2025.

Objective

The Office of Policy (OP) is requesting applications from organizations working to increase community capacity to implement clean energy projects, including energy efficiency, and/or access federal funding. Organizations applying to this funding opportunity should have demonstrated experience providing educational or technical assistance services to entities within the eligibility range for elective pay, which includes state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental entities, as well as non-profit organizations. Applicants should also have or have access to demonstrated tax expertise and be able to provide generalized tax advice to a public audience.

The objective of this funding opportunity is to support the development and distribution of blueprints or other guiding reference materials, as previously described, to serve as a resource to communities, including DOE grantees, as they plan and develop projects which are eligible for clean energy tax credits through Elective Pay or the 179d energy efficient commercial building property tax deduction. Materials developed through this opportunity may be designed for the general audience of elective pay eligible entities or targeted towards specific audiences defined by geographic region (including U.S. territories), organization type, Tribal association, or other characteristics.  

Applications should:

  1. Describe the applicant’s relevant public engagement and education expertise;
  2. Identify the applicant’s intended audience(s); and
  3. Provide a high-level outline of a proposed blueprint deliverable.

A total of $915,000 in funding will be awarded to 3-10 selectees through this opportunity. Applicants can request up to $305,000 to execute proposed activities over the course of 6 months. Applicants must provide sufficient detail and reasoning to justify the funding amount requested.

Both individual and joint applications will be accepted. Joint applications should be submitted by the lead organization that will manage awarded funds.

Event Updates

How to Participate

Important Dates

Opportunity Announcement

Objective Strategic Session

Informational Webinar/Objective Strategic Session (IW/OSS): DOE will provide further details about the Elective Pay - Blueprints for Communities opportunity so that applicant can better understand the scope, scale, and intent of this program. The virtual IW/OSS will be pre-recorded and can viewed here.

Information "Office Hours" Session(s)

Office Hours (July 25, 2024): ENERGYWERX and the Office of Policy team will host open office hours for potential applicants. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to ask questions. The session will take place on July 25, 2024 from 3:00-4:00 PM ET. Click Here to RSVP

Submission Deadline(s)

Submissions are due No Later Than August 8, 2024, 3:00 PM ET

Process Details

Timeline(s)

Resources from Webinar(s)

Coming soon.

Video Recording(s)

Office of Policy - OSS Recording

Webinar Q&As

Coming soon.

Eligibility & Review Criteria

Applications to this opportunity must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Applicant is a domestic entity. [1]
  • Applicant must certify it is not owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of government of Country of Risk. [2]
  • Persons participating in a Foreign Government-Sponsored Talent Recruitment Program of a Foreign Country of Risk are prohibited from participating in projects selected for federal funding under this Opportunity. [3]

Applicants well-positioned for this opportunity will be able to demonstrate:

  • Experience providing educational or technical assistance services to entities within the eligibility range for elective pay, which includes state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental entities, as well as non-profit organizations.
  • Tax expertise and the ability to provide generalized tax advice to a public audience.
  • Established community networks for information sharing within the range of entities eligible for elective pay.
  • A demonstrated commitment to increasing state, local, and/or organizational capacity to implement clean energy projects, access federal funding, and/or navigate tax credit filing processes.
  • Vision for Blueprint deliverable

Both individual and joint applications will be accepted. Joint applications should be submitted by the lead organization that will manage awarded funds.

[1] To qualify as a domestic entity, the entity must be organized, chartered or incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular state or territory of the United States; have majority domestic ownership and control; and have a physical place of business in the United States.

[2] DOE defines Country of Risk to include China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This list is subject to change.

[3] Foreign Government-Sponsored Talent Recruitment Program is defined as an effort directly or indirectly organized, managed, or funded by a foreign government, or a foreign government instrumentality or entity, to recruit science and technology professionals or students (regardless of citizenship or national origin, or whether having a full-time or part-time position). Some foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs operate with the intent to import or otherwise acquire from abroad, sometimes through illicit means, proprietary technology or software, unpublished data and methods, and intellectual property to further the military modernization goals and/or economic goals of a foreign government. Many, but not all, programs aim to incentivize the targeted individual to relocate physically to the foreign state for the above purpose. Some programs allow for or encourage continued employment at United States research facilities or receipt of federal research funds while concurrently working at and/or receiving compensation from a foreign institution, and some direct participants not to disclose their participation to U.S. entities. Compensation could take many forms including cash, research funding, complimentary foreign travel, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, promised future compensation, or other types of remuneration or consideration, including in-kind compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact ENERGYWERX: info@energywerx.org

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