Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings

HVAC Worker doing maintenance

The Energy Efficiency Grant Program (EE) funds projects at state public higher education institutions, local government facilities, state agencies, kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) public school districts and federally recognized tribal governments. This program is awarded through a competitive process.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Local Agencies – Local Agencies include any city, town, county, special purpose district, municipal corporation, agency, port district or authority, or political subdivision of any type, or any other entity or authority of local government in corporate form or otherwise.
  • Public Higher Education Institutions
  • School Districts
  • State Agencies
  • Federally Recognized Tribal Governments

Join a listening session for Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings

The Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings program will launch Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants in early 2022, and we are seeking community input and suggestions as we develop these programs.

Please join us for a listening session to provide your input:

  • Thursday, Dec. 2: 10:30 a.m. to noon – This session is full, please register for a different session.
  • Monday, Dec. 6: 3:30 to 5 p.m. – This session is full, please register for a different session.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 8: 10:30 a.m. to noon – Register here

The Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings program provides grant funding for public entities such as towns, cities, Tribes and public agencies to make energy updates to public buildings and facilities. These retrofits save money and reduce pollution for schools, hospitals, community centers and other public buildings.

At the listening session we hope to learn about the varying needs of communities in Washington, the diversity of community goals and particular barriers you face in being able to access these grants. The session will also include examples of eligible projects and steps to take in advance of the next application period. This session is not required to apply for the upcoming grant, and future sessions will discuss program details.

Can’t make the session? Email us at to share your thoughts.

New round of Energy Efficiency awards announced

Commerce has announced $1,403,906 in new awards under the Energy Efficiency Grant program. 

Priority considerations were access for small towns and cities, demonstrated need, and alignment with the 2021 State Energy Strategy which includes helping to fund energy efficiency improvements in rural public buildings, with particular support for schools and hospitals.

  • Hockinson School District – $469,234 to replace inefficient fan coils with high efficiency heat pumps for the Community Education Building and the District Office. At the Elementary School, new Variable Frequency Drives will be installed on the pumps that modulate the equipment that supplies chilled or hot water.
  • Klickitat Valley Health – $439,765 to complete replacement of the existing Air Handler without energy savings controls, with a custom AHU that will add redundancy, be connected to the central heating and cooling plants, and improve efficiency for ventilation and thermal comfort for the building.
  • La Conner School District – $149,997 to upgrade aging an aging control system, replace a main Air Handler, and upgrade to LED lighting at La Conner Elementary School for better air quality and energy savings.
  • Mossyrock School District – $344,910 in three awards to install energy saving controls at the high school as well as replace heat pumps and upgrade controls at the both the middle and elementary schools for better indoor air quality and a more comfortable environment for the students.

These awards were made possible through the Energy Efficiency Program RFP (RFP #EE-2020) issued in November 2020 and updated on Dec. 4, 2020. The next solicitation for the Energy Efficiency Grant Program is planned for early 2022. 

Past Awards

Nearly $4 million in grants to state and local government agencies for 17 energy efficiency projects that will deliver a projected reduction of more than 5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually – enough to power about 480 average homes annually.

Centralia School District – $97,000 to reduce energy consumption through occupancy sensors, carbon dioxide control, and LED lighting upgrades for Oakview Elementary School

City of Tacoma – $148,987 for the Tacoma Convention Center to refurbish and add controls that reduce energy consumption for air handling and add more energy efficient lighting and controls for kitchen, support and mechanical areas of the facility.

City of Bellevue – $129,000 to retrofit and replace lighting fixtures and systems at five fire stations and the Bellevue Service Center and add efficient electric heat pump technology to the HVAC system at one station.

Grant County Public Utility District – $429,769 to update heating, lighting and control systems in their Ephrata headquarters with new, efficient equipment that meets targets required by the state’s new Clean Buildings Standard.

Harborview Hospital – $301,239 to update the HVAC system in one wing with equipment that will reduce energy consumption and support the hospital’s ventilation and pressurization systems.

Kittitas Valley Healthcare – $500,000 to improve the ventilation systems for the surgery area and emergency department, install LED lighting upgrades throughout the building, install equipment to increase the efficiency of the water heaters and replace the chiller used to cool the MRI equipment.

Klickitat Valley Health – $60,235 to replace and update equipment and controls in the HVAC and ventilation systems.

Lake Washington School District – $127,531 to replace HVAC controls at five elementary schools, retrofit athletic field lighting at four high schools and install heat pumps at the support services center.

Mukilteo School District – $39,300 to add advanced ventilation controls for two gymnasiums, install energy-saving heating and cooling water pumps at two schools, improve efficiency of the boiler at one school, upgrade control systems at three schools and provide an evaluation to identify and implement low-cost fixes at three schools.

Napavine School District – $225,000 to replace the aging boiler plant at the high school, improve HVAC infrastructure and install LED lighting throughout the school.

North Seattle College – $386,974 for system upgrades to six buildings to meet requirements of the new Clean Buildings Standard. The college will improve the HVAC system in one building, seal ducts in four buildings, install LED lighting and new controls in seven buildings, air seal around windows and doors in four buildings and evaluate and adjust plumbing fixtures in eight buildings to ensure they are working efficiently.

Port Townsend School District – $469,000 to replace a 40-year old heating system with heat pump technology in the high school’s main building, and add heat pumps for the elementary school’s heating system that will only require use of the boilers on very cold days.

Tacoma School District – $254,013 for higher efficiency boiler systems and LED lighting for multiple schools.

Seattle Central College – $268,443 to install an air-water heat pump in the Broadway building and efficient LED lighting and new controls in the Science and Math building.

Sedro Wooley School District – $300,000 to improve overall performance of the high school HVAC system and replace lighting fixtures with LEDs.

Snohomish School District – three grants totaling $75,800 to install upgraded control systems At Cathcart Elementary, Totem Falls Elementary and Central Primary Schools that will reduce energy use when the building is not in use and increase heating and electrical efficiency.

South Seattle College – $351,297 to air seal around windows and doors campus-wide, seal ducts in three buildings, retrofit lighting in 18 buildings and to evaluate and adjust fixtures in 20 buildings to reduce water use. Because large hangar doors in the trades areas are often left open with systems running, sensors and controls will be added to reduce heating and cooling when doors are open.

Yelm Community Schools – $115,628 for Yelm Prairie Elementary School to retrofit original HVAC and control systems, improving ventilation, comfort and safety. Mill Pond and Fort Stevens Elementary Schools will upgrade to LED lighting to improve the learning environment.

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Send an email to:

Program Manager

Kristen Kalbrener

Managing Director

Jennifer Grove

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