Pre-Application Process for the DOE’s Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas Program

The Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) Program makes available $50 million to help deploy community-driven clean energy solutions in rural and remote areas across the country. This funding opportunity will award grants for projects between $500,000 to $5 million and requires no cost-share from recipients to help ensure an equitable transition to a clean energy future.

Applicants must first submit a pre-application, due by July 13, 2023, and once reviewed, the DOE will invite some applicants to submit a full application. 

Steps to submit the pre-application

To track these 6 suggested pre-application steps, you can use this ERA Program Checklist, which can help you divvy up sections among partners, track your work, and mark sections as complete. The pre-application is due by July 13, 2023, and based on review, some applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by October 12, 2023. Check back with EPN for a suggested 6-step full-application process.

Step One Register – by Friday, June 9

You must be registered with the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) Funding Opportunity Exchange to submit your pre-application.

To register on OCED Funding Opportunity Exchange, go here. For help, refer to Resources: Get Started with and How to Change Account/Login Settings. For the Login Guide, go to Financial Opportunities: Manuals (

Step Two Review DOE Resources – by Friday, June 16

A: Carefully read the Funding Opportunity Press Release and the entire Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to ensure that your project is a good fit.

B: Read the entire ERA Grant Program FOA Guidance Document.

C: Read the entire ERA Grant Program Community Benefits Plan Guidance.

D: Watch the May 30, 2023, webinar recording.

E: Read the ERA Program FAQs.

F: Reach out to DOE with questions via email.

G: Get notified of new OCED funding opportunities and news by signing up for the OCED email list.

Find Partners & Envision – by Friday, June 23

To prepare your pre-application and in preparation for a potential invitation to submit a full application, find and solidify your partners and collectively envision your proposal.

A: Sign up for the Teaming Partner List here.

B: Reach out to potential Teaming List partners and/or others.

C: Schedule a time to speak with your partners and brainstorm about proposal ideas.

Step Four Read, Write, and Review – by Friday, July 7

A: Download the DOE’s pre-application template and create a Google Doc with the pre-application questions, as needed, that all partners can access. Answers will have to be transferred to the pre-application template before submission.

B: Begin writing answers to your pre-application questions. The pre-application must be less than 10 pages. Suggested word count is included in italics before each bracket. 

C: Access detailed instructions on how to apply through the Financial Opportunities: Manuals (

D: Reach out for technical assistance support if needed from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for initial development of project concepts.

C: Review your pre-application answers (ideally more than once) using Section 5.1.1 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement to ensure that all requirements have been met in each section and to give yourself the best possible opportunity to be invited to submit a full application.

Step Five Review and Submit – by Tuesday, July 11

Although the deadline is Thursday, July 13, plan to submit your pre-application template to DOE’s OCED Funding Opportunity Exchange, ideally by Tuesday, July 11, to give yourself time to troubleshoot if you have any difficulty submitting.

A: To submit the pre-application, go to the DOE’s OCED Funding Opportunity Exchange and upload your document.

B: For assistance with technical issues involving the OCED Funding Opportunity Exchange, email

C: Take …a nap! And then…

Step 6 Illustration Begin registration with, including obtaining your Unique Entity Identification (UEID), and FedConnect – ASAP, but no later than August 15

If you are not already registed, begin the process now so that you are prepared for the October 12, 2023, 5 p.m. ET deadline if invited to submit a full application, as well as for other funding opportunities. You must be registered with (and have your Unique Entity Identification (UEID)) to apply. Registering can take weeks (if not months).

To register on,* go hereFor help, access the registration checklist and EPN’s registration webinar

If you need additional help, send us an email.

*To check your registration status, go here for

In addition, the RFA requires registration with FedConnect. To create an organization account, your organization’s SAM MPIN is required. For more information about the SAM MPIN or other registration requirements, review the FedConnect Ready, Set, Go! Guide.

Please note: Prospective applicants may register in to receive automatic updates via email when modifications to this FOA are posted. However, please note that applications will not be accepted through