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How to Get the Feds to Pay After You Make Your School Buildings Greener

By Mark Lieberman & Francis Sheehan — October 13, 2023 1 min read
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Thousands of school buildings across the country need billions of dollars’ worth of major repairs, renovations, and additions. The federal government can help with a big chunk of the cost—if districts have sustainability in mind.

Congress last year passed a massive spending package that included a new program that creates incentives for school districts to make their buildings more energy-efficient with projects centered around solar and geothermal systems.

Unlike a traditional grant program, there’s no limit to how many incentives schools nationwide can get, and there’s also no limit to how big each incentive can be.

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Districts just need to finance the upfront costs of the project, complete the work, and then fill out some Internal Revenue Service forms to get their cash rebates.

Every district will be eligible for a rebate worth 30 percent of the project cost. Some districts will be eligible for the federal government to cover up to 60 percent of the total cost of their green building project, if they meet certain eligibility criteria.

This program could be lucrative for school districts that choose to take advantage of it. Here’s how it works.

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    A version of this article appeared in the November 01, 2023 edition of Education Week as How to Get the Feds to Pay After You Make Your School Buildings Greener

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