How to use public grants and contract vehicles to go green:
Overcoming the barriers to implementing green technology on the local level to confront climate change

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It’s been roughly a year since President Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. As the administration works to meet that goal, the fight to combat climate change rages on in the halls of Congress. Leaders at every level of government – from the White House to the state house – are working to implement policies that will lead to a greener future.

A major step in the right direction was taken in November 2021, when the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was passed by Congress and subsequently signed into law. This opened the path for state and local governments, as well as K-12 school districts, to adopt innovative technology that will lead to a “greener” existence.

The challenging part for these municipalities, however, became sifting through the vast scope of information, verifying what funding is available (and how to take advantage of it), and identifying where and how to achieve maximum efficiency from your going-green projects. Just as data can be used to help federal agencies tackle climate change, it can also serve governments at the local level.

Funding for green initiatives is available – and there’s plenty to go around

The bipartisan IIJA bill has substantial ramifications for technology and prioritizes green initiatives through significant funding to create a clean energy economy. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, achieve clean power grids, and create a carbon pollution-free power sector.

The bill features investments in areas like public transit ($66 billion toward passenger rail modernization and expansion, the largest since Amtrak was created), electric vehicle infrastructure ($7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers), clean school buses and public buses, and modern infrastructure ($17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports). Over $65 billion will also go toward clean energy transmission and the electric grid.

Recently, the Biden administration announced a $500 million grant program to increase energy efficiency in public schools. This initiative was created using funds from the infrastructure law.

The money is coming for public sector entities to get their green initiatives off the ground. The question is, how do you take those dollars and convert them into sustainability savings?

Ways to utilize green technology

What are you trying to achieve?

A local government that wants to modernize its infrastructure could shift workloads to the cloud, downsize its data centers, and refresh and secure its network. A school district looking to build a school that will last the next 100 years could start with its HVAC systems, install solar panels, and then fortify a stronger electric vehicle presence.

We’re seeing examples like these all the time.

Fourteen schools in the San Diego Unified School District are getting electric buses, electric bikes, and more courtesy of a $9.6 million grant from the California Air Resources Board. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently announced a $100 million investment in “clean, equitable transportation projects.” As part of this investment, $9 million in grants will be aimed at deploying electric garbage and delivery trucks, $13 million in grants will be used to deploy electric school buses and shuttle buses in low- and moderate-income communities, and $5 million in grants will go toward “equitable mobility projects.”

The amount of federal and state funding that’s available for projects like these is extensive. While that should be music to the ears of the public sector, it can also be a tad overwhelming.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

Let SHI help you identify the right green technologies for your IT infrastructure

Whatever your dream (green) project may be, there’s likely a grant for it. And we can help you find it.

The SHI Public Grants Support Program works with you to identify federal and state grants and initiatives, create customized funding reports, and get your project off the ground.

We can assist you in aligning your procurement with SHI’s 500+ contract vehicles and cooperatives that have green agendas, have preferred pricing for green technologies, and provide compliance to meet legislative requirements. SHI does all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to.

New funding is coming fast and furious. It’s a full-time job just trying to keep up with it all. Now that Congress is back in session and gearing up to debate more government funding, it’s more important than ever to navigate this challenge today.

Everyone from the federal government to state, local, and education entities is looking to go green. But the key to ensuring sustained success is to go about it the right way.

SHI has the experience and expertise to get you there. Let’s save the planet together.