Maryland Launches Pilot Program for Net Zero Energy and Decarbonized K-12 Schools

Source: Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, NREL 07202

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), in partnership with the Maryland Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC), has announced a new pilot program to expand local education agencies’ (“LEAs,” or school districts) capacity to reduce energy costs through data management while planning for higher performance schools through the design and construction of net zero energy school facilities. This initiative leverages the capabilities of MEA, Maryland’s State Energy Office, with the IAC, the State agency that coordinates funding for capital investment in K-12 school facilities. This team effort integrates continual improvement in energy performance with long-term capital planning, encouraging future school facility portfolios to minimize emissions and facility lifecycle costs concurrently.  The resulting Decarbonizing Public Schools Pilot Program provides $2 million in funding. Grants will be made available in two areas of interest. The first is intended to defray the cost of energy data management by implementing or expanding the use of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool to track and benchmark school energy use. The second area of interest will support LEA efforts to implement cost-effective net zero energy design principles in their facility planning portfolios. LEAs that do not currently have existing energy management or net zero energy design experience will be prioritized for funding to help address equity across the state. Grant applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on April 20, 2022.

For more, visit the Maryland Energy Administration website.