School Business Services
Energy Efficiency Grants
The FY 2010 Capital Bill provided $50 million for Energy Efficiency Grants to be distributed over the next two fiscal years. Applications for Round One were taken from October 12, 2010 until January 15, 2011. Grants were awarded in April 2011 and $30 million was distributed to 158 School Districts.
The remaining $20 million in funds appropriated for energy efficiency grants is anticipated to be released in the next fiscal year.
The Energy Efficiency Grants are a dollar for dollar state matching grant program providing up to $250,000 for energy efficiency projects in schools. All school districts, charter schools, vocational center or public university laboratory schools are eligible.
The grants can be used for insulation, windows, doors, energy controls, lighting, energy recovery, energy conservation, alternative energy systems and other projects designed to reduce energy consumption. An instruction manual for completing the grant application can be found at http:www.isbe.net/sbss/pdf/ee_grant_inst.pdf. ISBE rules for administering the School Energy Efficiency Grant Program can be found at http://www.isbe.net/rules/archive/pdfs/151ark.pdf.
The on-line application will be created on IWAS website under Energy Efficiency Grants, by the district architect or engineer. The grant application process is much like the health/ life and safety system on IWAS.
Once the application is completed it will be submitted to the school district. The school district will review and submit the application to the Regional Office of Education. The Regional Office of Education will review the application and submit to the Illinois State Board of Education. The grant application can be found on the IWAS system.
Important facts to remember about the School Energy Efficiency Grants:
- Grants that request the full amount of the Grant - $250,000 must follow Public Act 96-1064. See below for details on this.
- The applicant must provide local matching funds in an amount equal to the grant.
- An “Energy Efficiency Project” means any improvement, repair, alteration or betterment of any building or facility owned or operated by en eligible applicant.
- Grant funds MAY ONLY be used for projects approved on the District’s applications. Modifications may NOT be made after approval. Please be cognizant of this when filling out your application.
- The Local Board of Education MUST authorize the school energy efficiency project during a duly convened meeting BEFORE the application can be submitted on IWAS.
- If Health/Life Safety funds are being used for the district match, a separate Health/Life Safety amendment with the same type of project must be filed and approved by ISBE.
- None of the project work may be started before the Application has been submitted.
- Grants are prioritized and ranked according to their Need Index. The Need Index of the district is determined by a formula that uses the EAV (Equalized Assessed Value) and ADA (Average Daily Attendance) of the district in comparison to the other districts of that type. Grants are then awarded to the highest need district down the list until funds have been exhausted. The age of the school buildings, number on free and reduced lunches, amount of yearly energy savings expected, NONE of these have any impact on whether the grant will be awarded.
- The Final Expenditure Report should be submitted on IWAS within 30 days of Final Project Closeout. Please keep this in mind when determining the estimated completion dates for your projects on your application and allow enough time for final project closeout to occur.
- If the cost of the completed project is lower than the estimated cost so that the amount of the grant is greater than 50 percent of the total project expenditures, the applicant shall refund the amount of the grant that is in excess of 50 percent of actual project expenditures.
- All grant funds must be expended or legally obligated within 2 years of award by the State.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kimberly Beachy with the School Business Services Division at email@example.com or at 217-785-8779.
Details on Female Minority Business Act
Pursuant to Public Act 96-1064 (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=096-1064&GA=96), each award of a grant of State funds of $250,000 or more for capital construction costs or professional services is conditioned upon the recipient’s written certification complying with the business enterprise program of the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act,” Public Act 88-597, and the equal employment practices of the Illinois Human Rights Act. The business enterprise program only applies to the State-funded portion of the capital project and requires a ten percent participation for minority and female firms. A directory of certified Minority and Female Business Enterprises can be found at the following CDB website, http://www.cdb.state.il.us/CDBWEB_MBEFBE.nsf/websearch?OpenForm.
Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Program
Many school projects may be eligible for matching funds from the Illinois Energy Now Energy Efficiency Portfolio (EEP) Rebate program offered through the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The Illinois Energy Now rebate program could provide the matching funds schools are required to identify prior to receipt of ISBE Energy Efficiency Grant dollars.
Schools applying for DECO’s Illinois Energy Now Energy Efficiency Portfolio rebate program must receive electric delivery service from ComEd or Ameren Illinois wires regardless of the retail electric supplier. Electric efficiency projects include but are not limited to, lighting retrofits, re-lamping and permanent lamp removal, as well as new lighting fixtures, HVAC and refrigeration equipment efficiencies, occupancy sensors and other computerized energy control systems, or other projects designed to reduce electric energy consumption.
To find out if your project is eligible for Illinois Energy Now rebate dollars, review the“Guidelines for Local Government, Public Schools and Community Colleges” or contact Agnes Mrozowski at (217) 524-0933.