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Community Energy Challenge

The Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED) is launching a competitive community challenge grant to highlight several categories of interest that will support community energy resilience and initiatives.  Funding for this grant comes from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and is administered by OED.  Eligible applicants that meet minimum program requirements will be eligible to receive up to $30,000.00.

The U.S. Department of Energy defines resilience as “the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions.” Reinforcing local infrastructure and diversifying energy sources to withstand extreme events such as severe weather or man-made events is key to creating resilience.

Funding Goal
The Office of Energy Development (OED) intends to enhance community and municipal resilience with a focus on key infrastructure.  Municipalities, public safety utilities and schools can benefit from resiliency improvements in a variety of ways, such as reducing overall energy costs including decreased maintenance-related costs through the use of a new technology.  By diversifying energy sources, upgrading technology and reducing energy consumption, grantees may also mitigate their exposure to price volatility and improve their access to affordable energy. 

Available Funding:
Each applicant will be eligible to receive an award up to $30,000.

Eligible Applicants:

Eligible applicants include municipal/local units of government including public safety (police, fire, EMS and emergency management), municipal utilities or schools. Projects must meet Category A criteria, plus one or more of the remaining categories to be considered:

Category A Criteria:
Grantees must provide matching funds in the amount of at least $30,000

Category B Criteria:
Project must support infrastructure improvements and demonstrate that it enhances resilience to key government, public safety, municipal utility or educational facilities; Project must evaluate all energy sources and technologies including traditional energy resources as well as renewables including natural gas, propane, steam, fuel oil, solar voltaics (Solar PV), geothermal (ground or air-source heat pumps), biomass or battery storage; Projects may also support efficient HVAC systems and control components, windows/doors or insulation suitable for both existing municipal/public buildings and new construction.

To learn more about specific eligible technologies, please visit the United States Department of Energy.  

Grant Guidelines: Please review the guidelines here.
Project Proposals are due October 11th, 2019 by 5:00 PM EDT.  The following items must be put into one zip file and sent to grants@oed.in.gov:  

1. Application Form
2. Project Narrative
4. Equipment Quotes
5. Project Calculations
NEPA Questionnaire - if applicable. Most projects are unlikely to need a NEPA review.  This document explains which projects are exempt from NEPA review.
SHPO Section 106 Assurance 
8. Certifications and Assurance Signature Page
9. Organization Registration with Secretary of State
10. Installer Certification and Licensure, if applicable


Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I change expand the text box size on the Application Form?  - Please don't change the text box size. The application form is meant to be short and concise.
  2. Is there a page limit for the Project Narrative? - No, but we recommend you do not go over 20 pages. You are welcome to make the narrative as short as you like, as long as you feel you have adequately portrayed your project idea.
  3. Do I need to do a NEPA review? - Only if your project is too large for the NEPA exemptions, which are listed here. For example, if your solar PV array will be 60 kW or less, you do not need to fill out the NEPA form.
  4. What if I have not received SHPO approval before the application due date? - Submit a copy of your SHPO documents to us so that we can see that you have begun the process with DNR.
  5. Does a discount from a retailer count as a partnership? - No, that would count as a business transaction.