An influx of federal dollars is available to local governments for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation efficiency projects. Through this funding, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) can help rural communities lower their energy and transportation costs and access cleaner electricity.
In partnership with the Great Plains Institute, ACEEE has created resources to support small and medium local governments (of jurisdictions with fewer than 50,000 people) as they identify and pursue recent and upcoming federal funding for energy efficiency, clean energy, and transportation efficiency projects. These resources are designed with midwestern local governments in mind but are relevant to rural communities across the country. The resources below are intended to help local governments identify federal programs of interest, determine next steps for securing federal funding, and design equitable and effective energy and transportation projects.
Accessing Federal Funding
These fact sheets describe federal funding opportunities to help local governments implement energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation efficiency projects.
Connecting Communities with Historic Federal Clean Energy Investments
Transportation Efficiency: New Federal Funding Opportunities
Strategies for Local Governments to Access Federal Funding
Successful Local Project Examples
These fact sheets include energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation efficiency project models that small and medium local governments can pursue with federal funds.
Local energy efficiency and renewable energy programs
Local transportation efficiency programs
Building a Better America (Build.gov). This central hub for IIJA resources provides a roadmap of available funding and program-by-program information, including details about milestones and links to program information on the System for Award Management (SAM) website and Grants.gov. Build.gov also hosts an application to quickly sort and filter programs by agency, issue, and eligible recipients.
White House Rural Infrastructure Playbook. This playbook helps rural communities understand available funding under IIJA. Also included are links to rural factsheets published by seven key federal agencies that highlight how agency resources and capabilities can help rural communities.
Rural Partners Network (Rural.gov). The Rural Partners Network is an alliance of federal agencies and commissions helping rural communities find resources and funding to create jobs, build infrastructure, and support long-term economic stability. Subscribe here for newsletter updates. The EPA also provides newsletter updates about funding and technical assistance opportunities from federal agencies to support state, local, and tribal initiatives related to climate, energy, water, and economic development.
U.S. DOT Charging Forward: A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure. This describes stages of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure development, including discussions of partnership opportunities and EV infrastructure planning, funding, and financing for rural areas
White House IIJA Technical Assistance Guide. This guide provides a list of more than 65 technical assistance resources and programs across the federal government to help communities deliver infrastructure projects.
DOE Clean Cities Coalition Network Technical Assistance. The Clean Cities Coalition Network connects transportation stakeholders with information and experts to assist with alternative fuels, fuel economy improvements, and emerging transportation technologies. The site offers information about accessing technical assistance, outreach materials and templates for EV infrastructure projects, as well as upcoming events and webinars.
National League of Cities Grant Application Bootcamp (Local Infrastructure Hub). NLC’s Local Infrastructure Hub is offering a series of bootcamps designed to help small and mid-sized local governments take advantage of the grant opportunities available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Over the next two years, there will be at least 30 bootcamps, each corresponding to a specific category of spending under the infrastructure law.
Additional Midwest State-Specific Infrastructure Resources
Michigan.gov Infrastructure Office
Minnesota Commerce Department BIL Resources
Wisconsin Department of Transportation BIL Local Programs
Indiana Department of Transportation – Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Iowa Department of Transportation – IIJA Information
Ohio Department of Transportation BIL Resources