Create Healthier IAQ in Schools with Federal Funding

In the world of HVAC and BAS, some aspects of the industry are seasonal rather than year-round. Because of this, you must stay up to date on deadlines for applications that directly impact funding and grants; because more than likely, they’ll directly impact you when you bid for projects this year and next year.

So what’s new on the horizon in the world of federal funding that may impact you in the not-so-distant future? We’re glad you asked!

New Funding is here!

As of January 11, 2024, the Biden-Harris administration announced the availability of up to $32M in grant funding to work on indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools. The EPA says that this funding opportunity “will protect children’s health by providing resources to organizations that help K-12 schools in low-income, disadvantaged, and Tribal communities develop and adopt comprehensive indoor air quality management plans to reduce indoor air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in schools.” It looks like this year’s school bidding projects will be a mix of retrofits, regular maintenance jobs, and new IAQ projects.

What is covered under this funding?

It’s been reported that the EPA is anticipating the awarding of four to six grants, totaling anywhere from $5-$8 million, that will help to support five years of IAQ and energy efficiency activities. Some of the projects that will be worked on to better benefit schools will include IAQ projects, greenhouse gas reduction projects, training and educational campaigns, and research and demonstration projects. The EPA also stated that the “grants will be distributed on a competitive basis to states, territories, Indian Tribes, nonprofit organizations, and local governments and educational agencies.” (For more information visit the EPA website here.)

So what does that mean for me?

Well the EPA stated, “The deadline to apply for the competitive grants is March 19, 2024. We estimate that the grants will be awarded by fall 2024.” This means that instead of starting your seasonal school bids in the spring of 2025, you may want to be the early bird in this scenario. Stay up to date with who in your area has been awarded federal funding or grants and get that worm . . . well project—you know what we mean!

According to the EPA, “Grantees will assist schools in developing and implementing comprehensive IAQ management plans. . . Schools with IAQ management plans are better prepared to:

  • Conduct preventative maintenance to avoid costly IAQ issues before they start.
  • React quickly when IAQ issues do arise.
  • Build resiliency into facility maintenance by documenting operations to ensure staff can step up to fill roles when needed.
  • Identify opportunities for improving energy efficiency to save money and the environment.
  • Prioritize necessary infrastructure upgrades so that schools can justify capital costs and are ready to take advantage of federal, state, and local funding opportunities.”

Get ready to play the long game and leverage federal funding into new business opportunities that work for you! We’ll keep you updated as the EPA announces new milestones for this latest initiative.

In the meantime, if you need help with any upcoming bids—Kele’s got you covered. Source your BOM with us online or call today and let our experts help you out.

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