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.

Only invited applicants are eligible to apply for this opportunity based on selected pre-application submissions. 

Steps to submit the application

To track these 6 suggested 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 application is due by October 12, 2023, at 5 p.m. EST.


Step One Ensure You Have Been Invited to Apply (Right now!) and Register for, FedConnect, and Optionally, – by Friday, August 25

Ensure you have submitted a successful pre-application and received an invitation to submit the full application before moving forward.

If you are not already, register with (and receive your Unique Entity Identification (UEID)). Registering can take weeks (if not months). If you can’t register by August 25 or soon thereafter, we recommend you use this time to register for the next opportunity.

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 Marketing Partner Identification Number (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 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) are posted. However, applications will not be accepted through

Step Two Review DOE Resources – by Friday, September 1

A: Carefully read the Funding Opportunity Announcement Summary.

B: Read the entire Funding Opportunity Announcement.

C: Read the Funding Opportunity Guidance Document.

D: Read the Community Benefits Plan Guidance Document.

E: Watch the March 29, 2023, Webinar and/or the May 30, 2023, Webinar.

F: Review the Webinar Slides.

G: Read the Q&A Log.

H: Read the ERA Program FAQs.

I: Consider DOE OCED Technical Support and apply by the Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, deadline.

J: Reach out to DOE with questions via email.

Solidify Partners & Envision – by Friday, September 8

A: Solidify your partners and collectively envision your proposal.

B: Schedule a time to speak with your partners and brainstorm about creating a detailed, full proposal.

C: Read through the ERA Program Project and Community Benefits Plan Template and Project and Community Benefits Plan Sample (provided by Anese & Associates). Create a copy of the Template, in Google Docs, that all partners can access.

D: Divvy up sections of the Project and Community Benefits Plan using the Template (see instructions below, Step 4) and Mandatory Documents (see instructions below, Step 5) among partners and complete.

Step Four Write the Project and Community Benefits Plan – by Friday, September 22

A: Ensure the DOE OCED has not mandated specific forms and templates for selected applicants before proceeding.

C: Write the full Project and Community Benefits Plan using the Template and referring to the Sample as needed.

D: Review your Project and Community Benefits Plan using the ERA Progam Evaluation Criteria to ensure that all requirements have been met in each section and that all possible points should be awarded.

Step Five Complete the Mandatory Documents – by Friday, September 29

A: Create the following Mandatory Documents:

Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424)
Community Partnership Documentation (refer to FOA, section
Resumes (refer to FOA, Section
Letters of Commitment (refer to FOA, Section
Budget (refer to FOA, Section
Engineering Scope of Work (refer to FOA, Section
Maps and Graphics (refer to FOA, Section
If Applicable, identify the following as they relate to the proposed recipient and sub-recipients:
– Transparency of Foreign Connections (refer to FOA, Section
– Potential Duplicative Federal Funding (refer to FOA, Section

B: Review your application (again!) using the ERA Program Evaluation Criteria to ensure that all requirements have been met in each section and that all possible points should be awarded.

Step 6 Illustration Review and Submit – by Monday, October 9

Although the deadline is Thursday, October 12, plan to submit your application, ideally by Monday, October 9, to give yourself time to troubleshoot if you have any difficulty submitting.

A: To submit the 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! 

*Special thanks to Jaimie Lewis, Megan Kenny Feister, and Sean Ferguson of Anese & Associates for creating elements of the Checklist, including a sample Project and Community Benefits Plan, Project and Community Plan Template, Community Partnership Documentation, sample Resumes and Letter of Commitment, Budget Template, and sample Engineering Scope of Work, Maps, and Graphics.