On September 8th, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Blueprint Cohorts Program (Blueprint Cohorts Program). The purpose of the Blueprint Cohorts Program is to provide EECBG grantees the support they need to execute their EECBG projects and programs. EECBG provides formula grants to over 2,700 local, state and tribal governments to support their clean energy goals. The DOE team has created 13 Blueprints that grantees may choose to follow with their EECBG Program grant available here. Many grantees are small local and tribal governments with limited staff capacity and limited experience with energy efficiency and clean energy. The Blueprints are designed to serve as model project ideas, making it easy for grantees to pursue impactful projects or programs with their EECBG grant funds, with expedited application review.
The Blueprint Cohorts Program is a key element to ensure grantees successfully execute their respective Blueprint projects. Blueprint Cohorts will be administered virtually throughout the full EECBG grant period (2 years), and will include peer-to-peer learning, presentations from experts, troubleshooting around common challenges, information sharing among grantees, and Q&A. Cohort participation should result in grantees gaining valuable skills, such as how to use various energy planning tools through expert-led trainings and interactive seminars, as well as building meaningful relationships with DOE staff and other EECBG grantees.
So far, a total of 261 grantees have indicated interest in participating in the Blueprint Cohorts Program, with that number expected to climb leading up to the EECBG application deadline (April 30, 2024). Since the launch of the Blueprint Cohorts Program, DOE has hosted 3 cohort-wide webinars and 5 technical tool trainings. With the support solicited through this PIA, DOE will be able to greatly expand the reach, depth, and impact of the Blueprint Cohorts Program far beyond what internal capacity currently allows.
The breadth of the 13 topics covered in the Blueprints and range of support needed could necessitate a team of organizations to successfully execute the Blueprint Cohort Program to the highest caliber. As such, ENERGYWERX is seeking applications from a single entity or a coalition of entities with experience working with local and tribal governments, administering virtual cohort-based trainings, and with subject matter expertise across the 13 Blueprint topic areas. Additional details on applicant qualifications and capabilities can be found below under “Evaluation and Review Criteria”. The organization(s) selected should expect to work in close coordination with DOE staff to ensure alignment with Blueprint Cohort and broad EECBG Program objectives throughout the full grant period (2 year commitment, optional 3rd year). Up to $1 million in total funding is currently available for the first year, and then two optional years at $500,000 each.
An eligible applicant is an organization or team of organizations, including but not limited to the following:
Ineligible entities for this solicitation are:
For application purposes, if you’re applying as a team, please designate a lead organization to apply as the primary applicant on behalf of the team.
The external organization(s) solicited through this Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) will work, in partnership with DOE, to:
1. Develop a Blueprint Cohorts curriculum and the associated content across the 13+ Blueprint topic areas and other specialized areas as requested, including:
2. Administer the entirely virtual Blueprint Cohorts and deliver the curriculum, convening grantees 1-2 hours per month over the full duration of the grant period (2 years).
3. Identify and assign each Blueprint Cohort a “Cohort Lead” to serve as a subject matter expert who will support the delivery of the curriculum and associated content.
4. Establish avenues for grantees to communicate and ask questions outside of regular meetings, such as setting up an online communications or networking platform (e.g., Slack, Teams, etc.), facilitating regular 1 on 1 office hours between grantees and DOE, and other creative offerings.
5. Coordinate with other DOE and federal government agencies to collect information about ongoing or upcoming technical assistance offerings and braiding funding opportunities
6. Address any requested specialized needs for additional cohort groups or curriculum development (e.g., for Tribes, rural communities, environmental justice communities, and more).
7. Create supplemental resources to enable the work listed above
Informational Webinar/Objective Strategic Session (IW/OSS) [January 30, 2024, 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET] Join ENERGYWERX and the U.S. Department of Energy for an informational webinar on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program Blueprint Cohorts Administrator Application process. Participants will be able to ask questions during this session. The virtual IW/OSS will take place on January 30, 2024 at 3:00pm ET.
Office Hours [February 6, 2024, 3:00pm-4:00pm ET] ENERGYWERX and the U.S. Department of Energy will host open office hours for potential applicants. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to ask questions. This session will take place on February 6, 2024 at 3:00pm ET. Click Here to RSVP
1. The degree to which the applicant demonstrates substantial expertise and a successful track record working with and/or engaging local and tribal governments and possesses strong existing networks within local or tribal governments
2. The degree to which the applicant demonstrates substantial expertise and experience with clean energy topics across all 13 Blueprint topic areas:
3. The extent to which the applicant demonstrates substantial expertise and a successful track record of administering and facilitating interactive virtual meeting series and building community through peer learning opportunities
4. Demonstrated ability to train and teach technical information to local/tribal government practitioners with varying abilities and limited capacity and create easy-to-understand materials, resources, and presentations
5. Whether the applicant possesses additional specialized experience or skills that would support the delivery of the Blueprint Cohort Program, including but not limited to regional, tribal, or environmental justice expertise
6. Whether the applicant has access to and/or can offer specialized networks and/or communications platforms for grantees to engage with peers undertaking similar projects
7. The extent to which the applicant offers additional creative and innovative offerings that would increase the value and impact of the Blueprint Cohort Program
8. The extent to which the applicant understands and has experience with grant management processes, especially at the federal level
9. The indicated willingness of the team to work in close collaboration with DOE for the estimated duration of the full grant period (2 years).
If you have any questions, please contact ENERGYWERX: firstname.lastname@example.org