U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Financial Opportunities

Apply for Competitive Funding Opportunities

EERE uses Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to solicit applications in specific program areas and selects projects based on a merit review process that includes industry and technology experts.

What to Expect During the Application Process

Graphic showing the process of applying and being selected for an award. First, the applicant submits a concept paper, and the concept paper is reviewed by EERE. The applicant receives a notification of encouragement or discouragement. Then, the applicant submits the full application. In the EERE review and selection process, the applicant receives reviewer comments and submits a reply to the reviewer comments. Then, the applicant receives notification of selection or non-selection. If the applicant is selected, negotiation begins.

The application process may include multiple phases: letter of intent, concept paper, full application phase, and "Replies to Reviewer Comments." At each phase, EERE performs an initial eligibility review of the applicant submissions to determine whether they meet the eligibility requirements of the FOA. EERE will not review or consider noncompliant and/or nonresponsive or otherwise ineligible submissions.

All submissions must conform to the form and content requirements listed in the FOA, including maximum page lengths, and must be submitted via EERE Exchange, unless specifically stated otherwise. EERE will not review or consider submissions submitted other than through EERE Exchange, after the applicable deadline, or that are incomplete. EERE will not extend deadlines for applicants who fail to submit required information and documents due to server/connection congestion. Application documents should not contain any proprietary or sensitive business information.

Letters of Intent

Letters of intent may be a required submission for FOAs. If applicable, it will be used by EERE to plan for the merit review process. The letters will not be used for down-selection purposes, and do not commit an applicant to submit an application. However, if a letter of intent is required, applicants must be submitted to be eligible to submit a full application.

Concept Papers

Concept papers are brief descriptions of the proposed project. This submission allows applicants to submit their ideas with minimal time and expense. EERE will provide feedback on the concept paper so the applicant can make an informed decision whether to expend additional resources to prepare a full application. If an applicant fails to submit an eligible concept paper, the applicant is not eligible to submit a full application.

After review, EERE will provide applicants with either an encouraged or discouraged notification. A "discouraged" notification conveys EERE's lack of programmatic interest in the proposed project. However, an applicant who receives a "discouraged" notification may still submit a full application.

Full Applications

Applicants must submit a full application by the specified due date listed in FOAs to be considered for funding. Applicants must complete the application forms listed in FOAs, which include, but are not limited to, SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance, a Budget Justification, and the Technical Volume.

Replies to Reviewer Comments

Full applications are reviewed by experts in the FOA topic area(s). After those experts review the applications, EERE provides those reviewer comments to the applicants and provides the applicants with a brief opportunity to respond.

This provides applicants with a unique opportunity to correct misunderstandings and misinterpretations and to provide additional data that might influence the selection process in their favor. The replies are considered by the reviewers and the selection official.

Comments will be provided to applicants in EERE Exchange following the evaluation of eligible full applications. Applicants will then be able to respond to the comments through the "Reply to Reviewer Comments" process.

Visit the Resources page to access the required forms, guidance, regulations, and quick links.