About the Program
The School Indoor Air Quality Grant Program, created by the Legislature and funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, is designed to help improve indoor air quality and health in schools as they re-open this fall. Efficiency Vermont plans to administer the program.
The Program is expected to provide funding to assist Vermont schools with indoor air quality projects such as repairing, maintaining, and upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in response to COVID-19 specific guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The anticipated eligible measures will help improve indoor air quality and promote the health and safety of students and staff.
We are reaching the limit of the funding for this program, based on approved scopes of work. If you have already sent in scopes of work that have not been approved, you are automatically on the waitlist. If you haven’t submitted your scope of work yet, please do so as soon as possible to be added to the waitlist.
If you have not yet submitted an Intake Form, you can do so now in order to be connected with someone from Efficiency Vermont and add your project to the waitlist.
Find a Partner for your Project
Visit our "Find a Contractor or Retailer" site to find a list of Efficiency Excellence Network (EEN) Members who have indicated interest and availability in working with schools to complete projects in this time frame.
If you reach out to a contact on this list and they do not respond within two business days or indicate that they are not available, please let us know and we will remove them from this list.
Engineers, Contractors, and Specialists – Join the Program!
If you are a mechanical engineer, controls contractor, commissioning agent, HVAC contractor, project manager, or other specialist who is available for these projects, please fill out this form to let us know.
Please note: if you are not currently an Efficiency Excellence Network (EEN) member, you will need to become a member before Efficiency Vermont will list you on the site. Becoming an EEN member is not a requirement for completing projects with schools.
Schools should follow steps to ensure that contractors meet the school's criteria for contracted services, including adherence to the latest guidance on mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
FAQ about the Grant Program
Who is eligible for the program?
All Vermont K-12 public schools and approved independent schools as defined under 16 V.S.A. § 11 are eligible to receive funding. Schools may apply for funding individually or collectively as a supervisory union, district, or other collective.
What types of projects are eligible?
HVAC projects meeting ASHRAE / CDC COVID-19-specific guidelines for indoor air quality (IAQ) improvement are anticipated to be eligible for funding. Efficiency Vermont will work with schools to understand the scope of projects that make the most sense for their facility.
What costs may be covered by the grant?
All costs associated with HVAC projects meeting ASHRAE / CDC COVID-19-specific guidelines for indoor air quality (IAQ) improvement are anticipated to be covered.
How much can each school spend?
There is no cap on funding per school. Because funding is limited, Efficiency Vermont anticipates prioritizing grants based on existing system needs, geographic location, and school size.
Each school is expected to receive an indoor air quality monitor and a minimum allocation of $2,500 for eligible projects and equipment while funds last.
When do projects need to be completed by?
All projects must be completed by December 31, 2020.
Can this be combined with existing Efficiency Vermont resources?
When appropriate, projects may leverage additional funding such as energy efficiency program funds from Burlington Electric Department, Efficiency Vermont, and Vermont Gas Systems. Efficiency Vermont will support schools in connecting with these resources.
Do schools need to receive bids from multiple contractors before moving forward on a project?
No. Due to the expedited timeline of this grant program, the bid requirement has been waived. This will help contractors and other professionals more easily understand their capacity for new projects and take on work quickly.
How does HVAC and air quality relate to health?
Ventilation circulates fresh, outdoor air inside a building, which dilutes indoor contaminants. Filtration cleans indoor air, capturing fine particles to which COVID and other viruses are attached. Maintaining indoor humidity at 40-60% reduces the potential for viruses to linger in the air. Maintaining a temperature range of 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit dry bulb improves occupant comfort.
There is strong evidence that improving ventilation and filtration can slow the transmission of infectious diseases including influenza, SARS, and more. The CDC has called for intensifying “cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation” prior to reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Improving air quality is only one step towards protecting students and staff from the spread of COVID-19. This program is one of the many steps Vermont is taking to open schools as safely as possible and keep them open this fall.