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In-Kind Assistance to USA Community Stakeholder
Teams to Develop and Implement Clean Energy Plans

Communities LEAP (Local Energy Action Program) Pilot

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U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

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In-kind technical support to USA and territories community stakeholder teams to assist communities in developing and implementing clean energy plans. Applicants must complete preregistration prior to applying. The purpose of the program is to provide support to low-income, energy-burdened communities that are also experiencing either direct environmental justice impacts or direct economic impacts from a shift away from a historical reliance on fossil fuels.

Multi-stakeholder teams representing Communities of Interest (described in Section A.3) can apply to this opportunity whether they are ready to begin their clean energy transition or their transition is already in progress. Selected communities will commit to working with DOE and its technical assistance provider network for approximately 12-18 months. Communities will receive assistance to:

  • Work together as a community to identify local clean energy objectives, core community assets, and data and resource requirements.
  • Create a plan built on those objectives, strengths, and resources to bring economic and other benefits to the community.

At the end of the technical assistance period, each participating community will have an action plan that prepares it to take further steps toward realizing its goals, including leveraging federal, state, and local funding or financing opportunities, participating in programs offered by philanthropic organizations, and/or partnering for private sector investment.

Technical Assistance Structure

Technical assistance provided under this opportunity will focus on the development of community-driven clean energy plans with economic, environmental, and other benefits based on each community’s unique combination of:

  • Energy-related resources, assets, or potential.
  • Social, institutional, and economic strengths and opportunities.
  • The specific clean energy pathway the community hopes to pursue.

Communities will apply for technical assistance under either the Launch Track or the Accelerate Track.

  • Launch Track: The Launch Track is for communities that are confident of their desire to pursue a clean energy transition but are in need of assistance to identify the specific energy pathway or pathways that will lead to clear economic, environmental, and other community-wide benefits. 
  • Accelerate Track: Communities that have already developed an existing clean energy-related economic development Roadmap, strategic plan, or similar document that demonstrates a commitment to clean energy-related economic development should apply under the Accelerate Track.

For additional details about the two tracks, see:

For details about the Pathways to Clean Energy-Related Economic Development, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 199055

Term of Contract:

Selected communities will commit to working with DOE and its technical assistance provider network for approximately 12-18 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This opportunity is open to communities in the early stages of a clean energy-related economic development transition. DOE envisions supporting communities that are either launching or accelerating a clean energy transition for sustained economic, environmental, and other community-wide benefits from clean energy deployment, clean energy-based economic development, and/or decarbonization projects.

Eligible Communities: For the purpose of this pilot initiative, a community is defined as a group of individuals, households, and businesses in geographic proximity to one another. This opportunity is focused on strengthening environmental justice and fossil fuel communities—and is not focused on providing direct assistance to individual persons, companies, or technologies. Communities in the United States—including tribal nations and territories—are eligible to apply under this competitive technical assistance opportunity if they meet the criteria below
• 30% of the community population is classified as low income. AND
• High or severe energy burden3 (median spending of household income on energy bills ≥6%).

As well as one of the following criteria:
• Historical economic dependence on fossil fuel industrial facilities including extraction, processing, or refining. OR
• Environmental justice communities as indicated by high exposure to energy-related environmental hazards, pollution, and toxicity from the siting of large-scale energy or industrial facilities, such as communities rated as moderate or high susceptibility on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EJSCREEN tool.

Eligible Entities: Multi-stakeholder teams representing communities are eligible to apply to this competitive technical
assistance opportunity.

Applications Specifically Not of Interest
• Technology R&D or commercialization projects or programs.
• Applications for capital projects, including the purchase or installation of infrastructure or
• Public education, lobbying, or advocacy campaigns.
• Applications that are not focused on community-scale impacts.
• Applications from teams that do not represent the applying community. Applications will be evaluated in part based on the extent to which community members, organizations, or businesses are directly and substantively involved in the project design and execution in a leadership role, either as team lead organization or as a member of the multi-stakeholder team with responsibility for a substantial share of project effort.
• Applications seeking funding. This opportunity is to provide technical assistance only; financial assistance (e.g., for project deployment) is not available under this program, though may be available through other DOE programs.

For additional eligiblity information, see:

Pre-proposal Conference:

• Office Hours 1 November 9, 2021, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET:
• Office Hours 2 December 7, 2021, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET:

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates and Deadlines:
• Opportunity Announcement Issued/Comment Period Opens September 15, 2021
• Informational Webinar September 28, 2021 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
• Comment Period Closes October 12, 2021
• Final Opportunity Announcement Issued/Registration Period Opens October 25, 2021
• Office Hours 1 November 9, 2021, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
• Office Hours 2 December 7, 2021, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
• Question Period Ends: December 14, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST
• Registration Period Closes December 15, 2021 at 5 p.m.ET
• Application Deadline December 17, 2021 at 5 p.m.ET
• Expected Date for Selections March 28, 2022

All dates are subject to change.

In order to apply, applicants must register first. Applicants must register through this opportunity’s registration portal hosted by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The registration portal can be accessed from the Communities LEAP website when the registration period opens. The registration period opens on October 25, 2021 and closes at 5 p.m. ET on December 15, 2021. Applicants are strongly encouraged to register at least 48 hours in advance of the registration deadline.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in connection with this competitive technical assistance opportunity announcement will be posted on the URL for Full Text link below.

View the September 28 webinar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply:

US Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave. SW
Washington DC 20585

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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