Washington, DC - Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that more than $106 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being awarded to 9 states to support energy efficiency and conservation activities. Under DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, these states will implement programs that lower energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and create green jobs locally.
"This funding will allow states across the country to make major investments in energy solutions that will strengthen America's economy and create jobs at the local level," said Secretary Chu. "It will also promote some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies we have - energy efficiency and conservation - which can be deployed immediately. Local communities can now make strategic investments to help meet the nation's long term clean energy and climate goals."
States receiving funding today include: Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
Today's awards to the State Energy Offices will be used to support state-level energy efficiency priorities, along with funding local conservation projects in smaller cities and counties. At least 60 percent of each state's award will be passed through to local cities and counties not eligible for direct EECBG awards from the Department of Energy. The EECBG Program was funded for the first time by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and provides formula grants to states, cities, counties, territories and federally-recognized Indian tribes nationwide to implement energy efficiency projects locally.
Projects eligible for support include the development of an energy efficiency and conservation strategy, energy efficiency audits and retrofits, transportation programs, the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and installation of renewable energy technologies on municipal buildings.
Transparency and accountability are important priorities for the EECBG program and all Recovery Act projects. All grantees have specific measures they must take before spending the full amount of awarded funding, such as ensuring oversight and transparency, submitting a conservation strategy to the Department of Energy, and complying with environmental regulations.
Throughout the program's implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and tribal level, while emphasizing the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies. Communities will be required to report regularly to DOE on the progress they have made toward successfully completing projects and reaching program goals.
For a full list of awards to date, visit the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program .
The following states are receiving their state-level EECBG awards today:
DELAWARE - $9,593,500 awarded today
HAWAII - $9,593,500 awarded today
IOWA - $9,593,500 awarded today
The Iowa Office of Energy Independence (OEI) will administer the EECBG program, including assisting potential applicants in determining which kinds of proposals are allowable and feasible and how to find additional funding resources to leverage. Funds will be provided for a wide range of activities, including agricultural building energy audits, financial incentive programs, energy efficiency retrofits, transportation programs, building codes and inspections, energy distribution technologies, reduction and capture of methane and greenhouse gases, traffic signals and street lighting, and renewable energy technologies on government buildings. These Recovery Act-funded activities will directly support the renewable energy and energy efficiency goals necessary to meet Iowa's 2025 target for energy independence.
INDIANA - $14,052,400 awarded today
OED will also use EECBG funds to establish a loan program for small businesses, non-profits, health care institutions and institutions of higher education to finance energy efficiency upgrades to their existing buildings. The goal of the loan program will be to decrease total energy usage and increase the energy efficiency across the state's public and private sectors. Additional Recovery Act funding will support the creation of an energy efficiency central database. This database will help the state and its citizens prepare for possible future legislation involving national renewable portfolio standards or limits on carbon emissions. Indiana's Recovery Act-funded projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and save or create nearly 200 jobs statewide.
MASSACHUSETTS - $14,752,100 awarded today
Massachusetts will use remaining Recovery Act funds for several training and technical assistance initiatives. First, DOER will share its Energy Information Reporting System with each of the commonwealth's 351 local government units. This system will enable communities to establish energy-use baseline inventories for their buildings, vehicles, and street lights. To share current technical knowledge with even the smallest localities, DOER will also employ over $1 million to engage experts who can provide on the ground assistance. These experts can help cities and counties ensure that energy baselines are accurately defined, equipment and systems are correctly designed and installed, installed equipment and systems performs as they should, and that performance and results are effectively measured and monitored. Finally, DOER will devote a portion of its EECBG funding to provide energy code training to building code officials throughout the commonwealth. As a result of today's Recovery Act award, Massachusetts expects to substantially lower its energy use and fossil fuel emissions, as well as save or create more than 200 green jobs.
OKLAHOMA - $9,593,300 awarded today
TENNESSEE - $13,818,200 awarded today
Tennessee will use the remaining funds to conduct a comprehensive public education campaign to help its citizens use energy more efficiently, and establish clean energy worker training programs at technology centers, community colleges, and universities. The public education campaign will be specifically targeted to help Tennesseans improve the energy efficiency of their homes, and will use various channels to collect, organize, and disseminate information, including workshops and print media. The training initiative will provide the state's citizens training in a wide variety of green sectors, including weatherization, advanced energy codes, and solar installation. These programs will better position Tennessee's workforce to take advantage of the clean energy economy.
VERMONT - $9,593,500 awarded today
VIRGINIA - $16,145,300 awarded today
DMME will also make funds available for the installation of renewable energy systems on local government and public buildings. These renewable energy projects are expected to have transformative effects on local markets and provide a strong return on Recovery Act investments with long-lasting economic and environmental benefits for the local communities. By deploying these clean energy systems across the state, Virginia will also be able to promote a broader understanding and acceptance of the benefits of renewable energy projects that will lead to increased demand for clean energy technologies. The EECBG Recovery Act funding will help will help save or create hundreds of green jobs across the state.