Energy funding available for Nebraska communities

Small Towns

Renewable energy development, energy conservation, and energy efficiency improvements offer an opportunity for rural communities to save money, become more energy-resilient, and increase the reliability of the electric grid. While many Nebraska communities are interested in such improvements, the upfront costs associated with energy-related projects have often been initially prohibitive—until now.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a funding opportunity for Nebraska communities. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) program, a product of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to create a more reliable and sustainable energy future. Nebraska’s Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) will award $1.78 million to communities for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy development, and pedestrian transportation infrastructure projects.

Applications to the competitive process are due to NDEE by April 30. NDEE anticipates distributing grant funding by mid-June.

Eligible applicants include counties, cities, and villages in Nebraska. Entities that have already received EECBG funding directly from the DOE, which include Nebraska’s four tribes, 10 most populous counties, and 10 most populous cities, are not eligible. Priority will be given to communities with a high energy or environmental burden. Projects should provide long-lasting benefits to the community, promote job growth, and reduce the community’s energy burden.

The number of applications received and funding requested will determine how many grants the NDEE will award. The maximum grant award is $50,000 per project. A community can only request funding for one project, and it must be new. Projects started before grants are awarded are not eligible. All projects must be completed by Sept. 30, 2026.

The Center for Rural Affairs is available to assist communities with applications. Please reach out to if interested. Application details and more information about the program can be found here.