Funding Opportunities Available Under the American Rescue Plan Act

Source: RL Martin

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed into law on March 11, 2021, is a $1.9 trillion dollar bill that includes several programs and funding sources of potential interest to the State Energy Offices. NASEO has received a number of questions from State Energy Offices on the opportunities ARPA presents, and we have compiled an American Rescue Plan Act Frequently Asked Questions document from several sources developed by the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Treasury, Department of Commerce, and other sources. Much of the information is taken directly from these sources. While we believe this information is reliable, guidance around these funds continues to evolve, and we appreciate any state or partner feedback on how to further refine and improve this resource.

Highlights include:

  • The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – received $4.5 billion in additional funding. An additional $500 million is provided for a similar program for water, the Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program.
  • U.S. Treasury Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) – this $350 billion fund is designed to assist state and local governments to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic and bring back jobs. It is administered by the U.S. Treasury.
  • U.S. Department of Education Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) – this $122 billion fund is for state educational agencies and school districts. The funds are to help schools safely reopen and to assist with the safe operation of facilities. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Investing in America’s Communities – Administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the program will invest $3 billion in America’s communities. On July 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced six funding opportunity announcements: Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 billion), Good Jobs Challenge ($500 million), Economic Adjustment Assistance Challenge ($500 million), Indigenous Communities Challenge ($100 million), Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Grants ($750 million), and Statewide Planning, Research, and Networks Grants ($90 million).

State Energy Offices interested in collaborating with other states and NASEO on the U.S. Department of Commerce Build Back Better Regional Challenge application to improve multifamily affordable housing should contact Maddie Koewler at