Powering Strong Communities
Security and Resilience (Cyber and Physical)

FEMA Details Plans to Fund Net-Zero Energy Projects

For the first time, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will fund net-zero energy projects, including solar, heat pumps, and efficient appliances, through its largest grant program, Public Assistance, which covers the rebuilding of schools, hospitals, fire stations, and other community infrastructure investments post-disasters.

FEMA is also funding net-zero energy projects for its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and now offers incentives through its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities annual grant program to encourage more communities to use net-zero projects that increase community resilience.

Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides supplemental grants to state, tribal, territorial and local governments and certain types of private nonprofits so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments so they can develop hazard mitigation plans and rebuild in a way that reduces or mitigates future disaster losses in their communities. This grant funding is available after a presidentially declared disaster.

“FEMA funding net-zero projects will cut utility costs, increase energy reliability and reduce disaster-related costs for communities,” it said. “Net-zero infrastructure and buildings are more resilient and can maintain comfort and safety in emergencies such as brownouts, blackouts and extreme temperatures.”

Examples of eligible net-zero projects are solar microgrids, heat pumps, certified high-performance appliances and passive heating or cooling.

States, tribes and territories can now submit expenses for these activities for FEMA reimbursement.

For any federal disaster declared after Aug. 16, 2022, applicants may now use FEMA financial assistance for unobligated projects under these programs to take advantage of this opportunity through Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding.

As of Jan. 30, more than 80 disasters have been declared across all 10 FEMA regions during this time.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities

Additionally, the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program that funds climate resilience annually may also take advantage of this opportunity.

In the BRIC 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity applicants receive additional points towards their overall score when taking advantage of these climate friendly materials and cleaner energy opportunities.

Additionally, states, territories and Tribes can leverage the resources in the Building Code Plus-Up in the 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity to increase resilience, reduce the burden of high energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through adoption of latest consensus building and energy codes.

Any community interested in introducing low-carbon materials or implementing net-zero energy projects can work directly with their point of contact at their FEMA region or reach out at [email protected] or [email protected].