SURGE Newsletter

DOE Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program)

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Emerald Cities Collaborative


New Initiative Aids Environmental Justice
And Fossil Fuel Communities in Developing Plans For Sustained
Economic Empowerment, Improved Local Environments

 Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Local Energy Action Program (Communities LEAP)—an initiative designed to help environmental justice communities and communities with historical ties to fossil fuel industries take direct control of their clean energy future. The Communities LEAP pilot program provides supportive services valued at up to $16 million to help communities develop locally-driven energy plans to more effectively leverage public and private sector resources to reduce local air pollution, increase energy resilience, lower utility costs and energy burdens, and create good-paying jobs.

DOE’s Communities LEAP reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to assist community-led transitions to a decarbonized economy, and to build a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable future.

The transition to a carbon-free economy lowers local air pollution and energy burdens, and is also poised to bring billions of dollars in continued investments to communities across the country while generating good-paying jobs. In 2019, renewable energy investments in the U.S. reached $55 billion and clean energy jobs paid 25% more than the national median wage –  workers in the clean energy earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 compared to the national median wage of $19.14.

The pilot will also prioritize connections to other agencies doing work to support place-based, sustainable economic development.

Participating DOE offices include the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Electricity (OE), Policy (OP), Indian Energy (IE), Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), and Economic Impact and Diversity (ED).

The initial Opportunity Announcement will be released September 15th, coinciding with the opening of the comment period. The comment period closes on October 12th. Registration opens and a final Opportunity Announcement will be issued on October 25th. Applications are due December 17th. Selections are expected to be announced in March 2022.

Learn more about this initiative, upcoming informational webinars, and how to apply