Federal Funding Services
With unprecedented federal funds available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), states have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the clean energy transition and mitigate the effects of climate change for their communities.
The big question is how to make the most of it.
To optimize federal funding, states must overcome a myriad of challenges:
- Navigating complex, evolving, and fast-moving federal timelines and regulations
- Figuring out what programs are most needed and how they will fit with existing offerings
- Ensuring that socially vulnerable households aren’t left behind
- Standing up new and expanded programs
- Meeting federal reporting requirements with accurate measurement and evaluation
No matter what stage of the journey you’re on, VEIC can help.
For 37 years, we’ve been helping leaders in clean energy solve their most complex challenges. From energy efficiency and building decarbonization, to transportation electrification and demand management, we plan, design, and deliver innovative programs and pilots that optimize energy use, serve the most vulnerable among us, and produce measurable and enduring results.
Explore our process
Read below to learn more about how we can help you take advantage of federal funding, wherever you are on the journey.
Before diving into any specific program, states need a complete picture of how new and expanded offerings will complement and build on what already exists.
A comprehensive look at your program architecture
Before you can roll out a successful program, it’s essential to understand the full scope of factors that will shape how it operates on the ground. Landscape Mapping is the framework VEIC uses to carry out this type of foundational analysis.
A landscape map can help with program planning by identifying key project partners and stakeholders, aligning legislative policies with federal funding opportunities, analyzing market opportunities and challenges, and evaluating performance, workforce capacity, and supply chains of existing programs.
A landscape map can include a gap analysis to identify lapses in current program offerings and pinpoint areas where key determinants for program success are absent or under resourced, such as availability of trained contractors and product distributors.
A landscape map can also catalog existing and planned workforce development initiatives to identify core needs and corresponding federal funding opportunities.
- Assess the potential to expand markets for heat pump space and water heating.
- Accelerate EV adoption by identifying the most effective pathways to align building codes and municipal bylaws.
- Map energy burdens to direct program resources where need is highest.
- Flag policy and regulatory roadblocks that will need to be addressed for successful program implementation.
- Identify gaps in building electrification services available to low- and moderate-income households.
- Identify geographies where workforce issues exist.
Making the most of available funding
Incentive and Analysis Stacking
VEIC also relies on thorough Incentive Analyses to provide clients with critical information about program design and financing options that will leverage all available funding sources in as simple a way as possible—for both you and the customers you serve.
An analysis of financing options provides curated recommendations to optimize capital stacks from federal funding, tax incentives, and other complementary sources to increase program affordability and expand support for low- and moderate-income communities.
An analysis of financing options can also provide specific recommendations for designing and braiding incentives to maximize impact.
- Map existing program offerings with federal rebates and financing opportunities.
- Model post-project energy costs to ensure that energy bills will not increase as a result of building electrification measures, particularly for low- and moderate-income households.
- Offer upfront point of purchase discounts and one-step rebate processing to reduce bureaucratic hurdles for low- and moderate-income households.
- Design holistic EV incentive programs that combine federal, state, and utility incentives in ways that maximize program benefits for rural communities, low- and moderate-income households, and renters.
- Mitigate the effects of high electrical-system upgrade costs and make building electrification more accessible to low- and moderate-income households.
- Test innovative on-bill utility financing models that unlock capital for clean energy investments while protecting consumers.
States must make sure that the programs they implement meet all requirements and timelines, including technical measure and equipment standards.
Staying current on policies and programs
With comprehensive tracking and monitoring of federal policies, program requirements, and opportunity deadlines, VEIC can manage the ongoing flow of information and provide Planning Guidance to ensure you don’t miss important opportunities.
- Identify IRA funding priorities and needs across multiple states and coordinate efforts to help states maximize incoming federal dollars.
Establishing verifiable measurement protocols
With a deep bench of Certified Measurement and Verification professionals, VEIC can provide technical Measure Analysis to establish standards and specifications that fulfill eligibility criteria, ensure program compliance, and account for relevant contextual considerations. When standards are absent, our team can establish and document guidelines consistent with industry best practices.
- Develop and maintain Technical Reference Manuals for state efficiency programs.
- Identify key performance metrics and develop and execute data collection plans to monitor and evaluate EV performance in real-world operation.
- Establish and maintain Qualifying Products Lists which analyze product performance specifications and set incentive rates based on efficiency benchmarks.
States want to ensure that their programs serve the people who need them most and that they fulfill the equity requirements of new federal funding.
Delivering program benefits to underserved communities
Equitable Program Design
Much of the funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act must meet core equity requirements outlined in the Justice40 Initiative, prevailing wage regulations, and other federal provisions. With over 50% of our energy efficiency implementation work directly serving socially vulnerable customers in 2021 and 2022, VEIC can help you make sure you meet these requirements with equitable program design that reaches your least-served communities.
Prioritizing the needs and goals of communities served, especially those who have been historically underserved, builds community resilience and delivers highly effective programs.
A proprietary customer journey framework to engage priority customer segments provides a proven approach to stakeholder outreach including methods to collect and incorporate input from community-based organizations (CBOs), identify customer needs and barriers, and implement continuous improvement processes.
Uplifting the leadership and priorities of communities by empowering CBOs leads to broader participation and long-lasting community engagement.
- Implement workforce development programs that provide on-the-job training and job placement assistance to un- or under-employed people in disadvantaged communities.
- Accelerate EV adoption in rural communities, and among low- and moderate-income households and renters.
- Conduct equitable stakeholder engagement processes that build trust and generate actionable insights to improve program design.
- Provide grants to community-based organizations in disadvantaged communities to test innovative approaches that address barriers and grow the local economy.
Building trust to drive program awareness and engagement
Marketing and Customer Support
To make the most of federal funding, it’s critically important to drive increased program participation—especially for underserved communities. VEIC’s full-service in-house marketing firm and consumer insights research group can help you develop and implement effective, multi-lingual marketing and customer support strategies to drive participation across different customer groups. We can make sure you reach folks who have participated in the past and those who have yet to engage with clean energy programs.
Designing customer-centered marketing plans to focus marketing efforts on key customer segments and strengthen participation from low- and moderate-income (LMI) and socially vulnerable communities.
Building and scaling engagement channels and providing multilingual customer support to increase program accessibility and drive participation among non-native English speakers, especially in LMI and socially vulnerable communities.
Communicating the advantages of aggregating incentives to market efficiencies of scale to customers, maximize uptake, and accelerate actualized benefits.
- Design and implement innovative community engagement strategies and grow participation in an award-winning program which provides no-cost solar to income-qualified households.
- Implement effective consumer education, car dealer outreach, and comprehensive online resources to grow rural electric vehicle adoption.
- Expand program participation across BIPOC communities, rural communities, low- and moderate-income households, and renters with focused marketing and outreach strategies.
- Provide translation services in up to 250 languages to make programs accessible to multi-lingual communities.
Once programs are in place, states need to know they are delivering their intended results. It’s critical to understand what’s working and where to introduce improvements, how best to engage community partners, and how to ensure customer satisfaction.
Using EM&V to drive program and portfolio impacts
Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V)
Program funding often requires data-driven documentation to verify energy savings, GHG emissions reductions, cost effectiveness, and other program impacts. As an objective third-party, VEIC can provide Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) services to help you evaluate the impact of your programs, identify areas for improvement, manage risk, and understand the effects of your program on the market.
As the implementor of three large-scale energy efficiency programs, VEIC verifies a wide range of performance metrics to meet its contractual benchmarks. Among many others, these include energy efficiency savings and GHG emissions reductions, cost effectiveness, peak demand reductions, green collar job creation, increased renewable energy generation, and improved energy efficiency for low-income properties. Our EM&V team identifies metrics, tracks, and reports results, and always accounts for the real-world subtleties that can have enormous effects on performance.
Our team of EM&V experts can work with you to define performance metrics that reflect ambition and attainability.
Establishing data collection and analysis protocols can streamline reporting, improve program operations, and enhance transparency.
- Develop performance metrics for electric vehicle program delivery and identify opportunities to expand program participation among rural low- and moderate-income households.
- Assess utility residential and low-income energy efficiency programs and adopt modifications and new policy frameworks—including a new GHG reductions framework—to maximize statewide benefits.
- Assess the effectiveness of refrigerant management programs in generating savings for customers and reducing GHG emissions.
- Track the operational and environmental costs and benefits of electric vehicles to quantify savings and fully realize available benefits.
- Increase program accessibility and participation with insights from survey and focus group research.
- Document program spending that reaches low-income communities through food banks and other CBOs, and verify the electricity and natural gas savings produced.
Working with community partners
One of the best ways to implement programs effectively is to partner with established and reputable Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). As sub-grantees, CBOs can provide invaluable on-the-ground support for program goals.
VEIC can help you recruit partner organizations and design and administer a subgrant dispersal process by monitoring and troubleshooting any issues that arise.
Our Team can also serve as a community navigator listening to and tracking input from stakeholders, and sharing lessons, best practices, and resources to guide pathways forward.
- Launch a quick start grant program that solicits and evaluates scalable ideas for overcoming barriers to heat pump space and water heating and awards grants to test the most promising projects.
- Enroll schools as partners in a statewide grant program to improve indoor air quality in K-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools received grants that funded site-specific technical support and equipment upgrades.
Ensuring the delivery of high-quality results
Quality assurance and quality control
As programs scale in response to increased federal funding, it will be critical to establish and maintain quality assurance and quality control protocols that ensure customer satisfaction and program results.
Engaging project partners and gathering stakeholder feedback through diverse channels can provide real-time feedback and enable program efficiencies.
An adaptive management framework promotes continuous improvement by monitoring results, gathering data, and evaluating the efficacy of implementation strategies in real time.
- Increase program accessibility and participation with insights from survey and focus group research.