Beneficial Electrification League

October Update

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Join us on Oct 18 for General BEL Update Call

BEL is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, October 18th at 2 - 3:30 pm ET. Please join us for a general update call that will discuss the following topic areas:

  • Topic 1: USDA Announces Record Interest in their PACE and New ERA Programs
  • Topic 2: EPA Releases New Round of Electric School Bus Rebates
  • Topic 3: Additional Infrastructure Funding Program Updates
Register for Webinar

Key BEL Updates

BEL Assists Stakeholders and USDA Sees Record Demand for PACE and New ERA Programs

BEL assisted many organizations with their New ERA proposals. Although many of the applicants that we assisted did not share final submissions and numbers, based on our general experience, we believe we provided significant support on applications supporting at least:


  • 100 Projects
  • 4,000 MW Solar
  • 2,000 MW Wind 
  • 2,000 MW Storage 
  • $13B of total cost
  • Grants $4B, Loan $8B
  • Annual GHG Reduction 22M+ tons
  • Total GHG Reduction at least a half a billion tons


We believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg for submissions as we are not able to discuss information in detail due confidentiality of stakeholders.

USDA has also released information on the number of proposals it has received for their New ERA and PACE programs [see USDA's press release]. The Empowering Rural America Program (New ERA), for which $9.7 billion was made available, recently closed its application window and will release more information as it processes proposals. It received 157 proposals, totaling more than double the allocated program funding, accounting for more than 750 high-quality clean energy projects in rural communities. The Powering Affordable Clean Energy Program (PACE), for which $1 billion was made available, received over $7.8 billion in applications in Fiscal Year 2023 to fund new clean energy projects and energy storage in rural America.

The EPA Clean School Bus 2023 Rebate Program is Open!

The EPA has released its second round of rebate funding for electric school buses! This program was popular in rural areas in the first round and thanks to support from CoBank and others, BEL is committed to helping those getting buses to apply and have great experiences for kids, parents, and drivers.

Our top three things to know about the program this year:

  1. The rebates for priority school districts are up to $345,000 per bus ($200,000 per bus for non-priority)
  2. The priority list has changed. Check to see if a school in your area is on the EPA 2023 School Priority List
  3. Applicants are now required to talk to their utilities before applying. We believe this conversation is helpful and should occur as early as possible.

The EPA Clean School Bus 2023 Rebate Program will be open from September 28, 2023 – January 31, 2024. EPA's website for this program can be found here

Upcoming BEL Events

Below is a list of upcoming in-person and virtual events. We hope that you can join us!

Webinar: BEL Update - Electric Buses, Homes and Infrastructure

October 18, 2 pm - 3 pm (ET)

New England Electrification Leadership Summit

October 24, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wylie Inn and Conference Center at Endicott College, Beverly MA

Webinar: Colorado Electrification Infrastructure Summit Webinar

October 25, 11 am - 12 p (MDT)

Virginia Electrification Leadership Summit

November 9, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Drury Plaza Hotel Richmond, Glen Allen, VA

Click Here to Register Any Upcoming BEL Events

BEL Welcomes New Staff to the Team!

BEL is excited to announce the addition of Jordan Nachbar, who joins BEL after more than four years at the Smart Electric Power Alliance and will serve as a Beneficial Electrification Program Manager to help BEL advance our mission. 

Read more about the BEL team

News From Our Partners

BEL Partners are Exploring Innovative Water Heater Options for Multifamily Applications; Working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory on New Technologies

Electrification Strategies LLC, a strategic partner of BEL, and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced on September 19 that they have signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to explore the feasibility and benefits of electric heat pump water heating technologies for multifamily buildings in cold climates. 

The research will analyze the performance of a centralized packaged water heating system that is manufactured domestically by Steffes LLC, a North Dakota-based company.  

The research advances electrification of water heating systems as a strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with buildings. Researchers will model the benefits of the electric water heating system for consumers, the environment, and grid reliability. Reducing costs of water heating in multifamily buildings will benefit low- and moderate-income families living in disadvantaged neighborhoods where these buildings predominate.  

The research focuses on the technology’s potential for energy efficiency, load shifting and suitability for electrification in different climate zones, with an emphasis on enabling systems that can perform effectively in cold climates.  

Consider Becoming a BEL Member-Sponsor 

BEL provides a unique platform for collaboration and information sharing among the diverse sectors engaged in the energy transition. In the last year, BEL has added dozens of new member-sponsors, including a growing number of municipal utilities. By joining as a member-sponsor, your organization can:  

  • Amplify your voice to help shape state and federal policy priorities 
  • Learn from other utility professionals deploying new technologies and programs 
  • Access information on policy initiatives and opportunities 
  • Access current research on electrification 
  • Increase visibility of your utility’s innovation and programs 
Join BEL as a Member-Sponsor

Thank you, BEL sponsors! 

For information on sponsorship of BEL, please click below.

Learn About Sponsorship

BEL is a 501(c)3 organization with Silver status as a charitable organization on Guidestar. 

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