Clean Green Schools Initiative
The goal of NYSERDA’s Clean Green Schools Initiative is to help public schools that traditionally lack resources to invest in infrastructure improvements become healthier, more productive learning environments. The P-12 Clean Green Schools Initiative aims to improve the environmental sustainability of those schools by reducing school energy loads, decarbonizing their building portfolio, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and providing clean energy educational opportunities. A portion of this program is being funded through the historic $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022 .
How It Works
TRACK I - Planning is open enrollment and provides funding for professional services such as energy studies, on-site energy manager, and fiscal advisors, to help schools evaluate, plan for, and facilitate comprehensive energy reduction, decarbonization, environmental sustainability and indoor air quality projects. In addition, funding can be used for school bus electrification studies to help public school districts plan for how to transition their fleets to zero-emission operation. To see a full list of eligible activities along with definitions, visit the documents and resources page (see Track I - Eligible Activities document ).
TRACK II - Installation is competitive and provides funding for schools to implement construction projects that decarbonize their building portfolio, such as comprehensive retrofits that impact energy consumption and overall building load, electrification readiness projects, and conversion of central heating and/or cooling plants to clean energy technologies such as heat pumps.
TRACK II: Eligible activities include, but are not limited to the following:
- Clean Heating and Cooling Projects
- Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP)
- Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)
- Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)
- Capital Projects to Move Towards Decarbonization
- Comprehensive retrofits that impact energy consumption and overall building load
- Electrification of building systems (e.g., kitchen equipment & domestic hot water heaters)
- Building electrification readiness projects:
- High performance building envelope (e.g., air sealing, insulation, window film)
- Heating/cooling projects
- Conversion of distribution systems (e.g., steam to hot water) to support potential future electrification
Clean Energy Educational and Professional Development Opportunities: Both tracks provide funding to applicants for services that will engage students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding communities in clean energy educational opportunities. Schools can utilize existing tools and resources [XLSX] or they can apply to receive funding for a new or customized effort of their design. Clean energy educator workshops across New York State are another resource to prepare school staff with hands-on professional development and lesson plans to teach about clean energy.
Who Can Apply
- Track I: All public school districts across New York State that are designated as High-Needs by the New York State Education Department [PDF] or have at least one building which is located in a disadvantaged community.
- Track II: All public school districts across New York State that are designated as High-Needs by the New York State Education Department or school buildings which are located in a disadvantaged community.
- System Benefits Charge (SBC) contribution is not required for participation in this program.
- See a list of eligible school buildings [XLSX].
- For school bus clean transportation studies:
- Priority public school districts can also receive up to a 100% cost-share for fleet transition plans. See list of Priority Districts here [PDF].
- All other P-12 Schools in New York State that pay into the System Benefits Charge (SBC) on their electric utility bill can apply for planning funding through the FlexTech Program.
How to Apply
View the Program Opportunity Notice (PON 4924) for full eligibility, application, consultant, and deliverable requirements.
Schools, school districts or authorized representatives may submit completed application packages to [email protected] for Track I through December 30, 2025, or until funds are fully committed.
Schools, school districts or authorized representatives may submit complete proposals for Track II projects via NYSERDA’s online portal submission . Proposals for Round 2 of Track II are due by June 6, 2024, by 3:00 pm Eastern Time.. View projects funded through the first round of Track II.
Register for the Clean Green Schools Initiative (PON 4924) webinar hosted by NYSERDA on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 12:00 PM (EST).