Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that more than $354 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being awarded to 22 states to support energy efficiency and conservation activities. Under the Department of Energy’s 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: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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.
Energy efficiency and conservation projects that are eligible for awards 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 www.eecbg.energy.gov.
The following states are receiving their state-level EECBG awards today:
ALABAMA - $10,350,200 awarded today
Alabama will put its EECBG Recovery Act funding toward a range of programs which will improve energy efficiency and conservation statewide. These programs will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, while creating or retaining green jobs. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will distribute these funds to local cities and counties, along with non-profit organizations and cooperative groups in the state. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for a wide variety of projects, including financial incentive programs like revolving loan programs, traffic signal and street lighting replacement, and energy efficiency retrofits. For instance, the revolving loan program will provide low cost loans to local municipalities, industries, and businesses for energy-efficiency improvements and conservation programs. This initiative will provide sustainable investment of EECBG funds that will continue to create and retain jobs, provide energy and cost savings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions well into the future.
ARIZONA - $9,593,500 awarded today
Arizona will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage development, promotion and application of advanced building codes and green buildings statewide. Eighty percent of these funds, which will be administered by the state’s Energy Office, will be distributed to local cities and counties to implement their own energy efficiency programs. Local governments will be selected for funding through a competitive process, focusing on projects that demonstrate a high return on investment, leveraged funds, a shared community project approach, jobs created, and interactions with community colleges and technical and trade schools. The state will also use funds to oversee and manage projects and provide technical support. These Recovery Act-funded projects will reduce energy usage and costs, increase the use of renewable energy applications within communities, and create jobs across the state.
ARKANSAS - $9,593,500 awarded today
Arkansas will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to provide technical assistance to Arkansas’ industries, public institutions and local governments to enhance energy efficiency and identify opportunities for job creation to support these efforts. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain jobs statewide. Sixty percent of the funds Arkansas receives today will be distributed to local cities and counties that were not eligible for direct funding from the Department of Energy. These local communities will be competitively selected for funding, with an emphasis on highly-leveraged projects and regional collaboration. The Arkansas State Energy Office will use this funding to establish a grant program for small cities and counties in Arkansas to reduce carbon emissions, as well as provide information about energy efficiency and conservation projects. A website will be developed to provide administrative information as well as links and other resources about energy efficiency topics and technologies for potential applicants. The state’s remaining funds will be used to support programs to improve energy efficiency in state infrastructure and provide home energy audits to help improve residential energy efficiency.
CALIFORNIA - $49,603,400 awarded today
California will focus its Recovery Act EECBG funding on cost-effective, energy-efficiency projects that will create hundreds of jobs and provide lasting benefits into the future. The state plans will deliver at least 60 percent of the funds to local cities and counties for a range of activities, including energy audits, efficiency retrofits, financial incentive programs, and traffic signal and street lighting upgrades. The remaining 40 percent of the state’s funding will be used to supplement funding for small cities and counties, as well as to further state energy efficiency priorities. To facilitate programs in communities without extensive technical expertise, California will offer communities a number of pre-designed energy efficiency measures and technologies they can purchase. This approach will also enable bulk purchase discounts for communities across the state. To ensure the highest levels of transparency and accountability, electronic reporting systems will track performance metrics as well as relevant data to detect fraud, waste, error, and abuse. This electronic system will have checks and balances as well as detailed management reports to allow for proper oversight and management of all subawards. All Recovery Act subawards will be coordinated through a single office, the California Energy Commission, to provide better oversight.
CONNECTICUT - $9,593,500 awarded today
Connecticut will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to help communities implement policies and projects that will benefit efficiency, conservation, renewable fuels development, and greenhouse gas reductions. These measures are expected to create hundreds of jobs statewide. Connecticut’s funding will be administered by the State Energy Office, which will pass along 90 percent of the EECBG dollars to 143 local cities and counties that were not eligible for direct formula funding from DOE. Each of these local governments will receive at least $25,000, with additional funding according to population. The remaining ten percent of the state’s funding will be awarded competitively under a “Regional Projects Energy Grant Program” to support municipalities that choose to partner together at a regional level to reduce fossil fuel emissions and total energy use, and improve energy efficiency in key economic sectors.
GEORGIA - $21,630,700 awarded today
With EECBG Recovery Act funding, Georgia will work with utilities in assisting homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain hundreds of jobs statewide. State EECBG funds will be used as a grant opportunity for energy utilities in Georgia, which in turn, will create or expand on-bill financing options for their residential customers. The purpose of this program is to provide residents the upfront cost of energy efficient equipment and in-home services, while recovering that cost through a monthly charge on the customers’ regular utility bills. Local cities and counties that receive money from the state award will be selected through a competitive process, and these projects will involve energy efficiency retrofits or renewable energy projects on public facilities.
ILLINOIS - $21,834,600 awarded today
Illinois will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve state buildings through energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects, and provide financial assistance toward the purchase of hybrid, electric, or alternative-fueled vehicles in state fleets. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain hundreds of jobs statewide. The state intends to use the Illinois Association of Regional Councils (ILARC) and their member regional planning agencies to administer EECBG grants to smaller communities. ILARC will award funding to the approximately 25 regional planning agencies who will in turn request proposals from the local communities in their regions for projects that meet the goals of the EECBG program.
KENTUCKY - $10,427,000 awarded today
The State of Kentucky is receiving Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy across the state’s economic sectors. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain more than 50 jobs statewide. EECBG funding will be administered by Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet, in partnership with the Department of Local Government. Local cities and counties will be selected for energy efficiency or renewable energy project funding through a competitive solicitation. The state will put funding toward the establishment of the Kentucky Net-Zero Energy Schools Program, which will provide funding to one or more schools to install photovoltaic systems sufficient to bring the schools to net-zero (or near net-zero) energy use. Kentucky will use its remaining EECBG funds to develop an education and training program for local and state building code enforcement officers.
LOUISIANA - $13,805,700 awarded today
Louisiana will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to advance a wide variety of energy goals, including energy efficient transportation lighting, alternative fuels development, renewable energy and building energy code enforcement in cities and parishes across the state. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain green jobs statewide, as Louisiana will pass on 95 percent of the state’s EECBG funds through subgrants to local governments. Louisiana will initially make a population-based allocation to all parishes and incorporated cities that did not receive a direct DOE allocation. Additionally, Louisiana has developed a funding allocation strategy to equitably distribute the funds to all citizens of the state on a per capita basis.
MARYLAND - $9,593,500 awarded today
Maryland will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy across the state’s economic sectors. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain jobs statewide. Eighty-eight percent of the funds Maryland receives today will be passed along to the 13 counties and 147 municipalities that were not eligible for direct EECBG formula funding from the Department of Energy. These funds will support the goals of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008 (which sets a target reduction in per capita electricity consumption and peak demand at fifteen percent by 2015); the Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard (which requires twenty percent of the State’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2022); or the Maryland Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (which requires a twenty-five percent reduction by 2020). Municipalities and counties will be required to apply funds to facilities owned or operated by the respective governments. These improvements will lower the facilities’ energy bills, helping to shore up the budgets for the state and local governments.
MICHIGAN - $19,599,600 awarded today
Michigan will use its Recovery Act EECBG funds to substantially improve energy efficiency, which is a centerpiece of the state’s plan to transform its economy: “Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow.” Specifically, this funding will be used to support programs that will contribute to meeting the state’s aggressive goal to reduce fossil fuel generated electricity by 45 percent by 2012. Michigan’s EECBG funds will be administered by the Department of Labor, Energy and Economic Growth, Bureau of Energy Systems. Local cities and counties will be able to use their funds for a wide variety of energy efficiency and conservation activities, including building audits and retrofits, financial incentive programs, upgrades to traffic signals and streetlights, implementation and enforcement of advanced building codes, and installation of renewable energy technologies on government buildings. To ensure that these Recovery Act funds reach as many local cities and counties as possible, the state will encourage communities to partner together through multi-jurisdictional applications and to leverage other public and private resources. Michigan will use a separate competitive solicitation to award funds for Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Solid State Lighting projects. Subgrants will range from $50,000 to $250,000 and enable projects that will lower both energy and maintenance costs for local communities. Overall, these Recovery Act-funded initiatives will enhance Michigan’s ability to achieve its energy efficiency goals and support the energy needs and priorities of local communities, while creating or retaining hundreds of jobs statewide.
MINNESOTA - $10,644,100 awarded today
Minnesota will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to help the state meet its energy conservation and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, primarily by enhancing the energy efficiency of local government facilities. The majority of these funds, administered by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security (OES), will be passed along to local cities and counties through two competitive award processes. The first solicitation will provide funding for all eligible EECBG activities, and applications will be ranked on multiple criteria including energy savings, jobs created and retained, carbon emission reductions, geographic diversity, and indirect economic value within the state. The second solicitation will provide awards strictly for energy efficiency improvements to existing local government facilities. Funds may be used for lighting upgrades, energy efficient windows, energy recommissioning, and other cost-effective energy projects that are ready for immediate implementation. This solicitation will supplement the Public Building Enhanced Energy Efficiency Program, which is currently under development. OES will use Minnesota’s remaining Recovery Act dollars to administer the program and provide local governments with technical assistance and support. Many green jobs are expected to be created or saved in the state as a result of today’s award.
MISSISSIPPI - $9,593,500 awarded today
Mississippi will use Recovery Act EECBG funding to establish the Sustainable Mississippi Communities Initiative (SMCI). The SMCI will work with communities across the state to increase energy efficiency, ensure sustainable development and enhanced economic growth while reducing adverse environmental impacts. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and they will create or retain green jobs statewide. With technical and financial assistance from the state, Mississippi communities will develop projects that encompass best practices to conserve resources, create green jobs and a market for those products and services, along with strategic planning for the future. Goals of the projects include a 25 percent reduction in building energy usage and optimal operations and maintenance processes and adoption of local building codes. Mississippi will work with communities to establish quantitative benchmarks to assure that progress can be measured and verified.
MISSOURI - $12,568,100 awarded today
Missouri will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to provide awards to local governments for energy efficiency projects and programs, and for public education and outreach regarding energy building codes. Missouri’s EECBG program will be administered by the state’s Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and is expected to create more than 100 green jobs across the state. MDNR will put the majority of these funds toward a competitive solicitation to provide funding to local cities and counties with priority given to projects that maximize energy savings and jobs created, leverage funds from other resources, are sustainable beyond the grant period, and represent coordination between two or more municipalities or regions. MDNR will also use EECBG funding to conduct energy building code workshops for local government officials, homebuilders, and other interested parties. These workshops will provide information regarding building code criteria, the benefits of codes, code enforcement and related subjects. The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of local communities that adopt the latest edition of the International Energy Conservation Code, as the minimum energy building code for residential and commercial buildings.
NEBRASKA - $9,593,500 awarded today
Nebraska will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve lighting efficiency, complete building retrofits, and expand renewable energy in the state. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain more than 100 jobs statewide. Nebraska has set aggressive goals to improve energy efficiency and is targeting those projects that it believes will result in maximum energy savings. Sixty percent of the funds Nebraska receives today will be passed along to local governments. Nearly 583 cities and counties will be eligible to apply for these subgrants, and awardees will be selected through a competitive process. Priority will be given to projects that meet the identified energy efficiency needs of the state’s 83 counties and nearly 500 towns eligible for grants and will maximize benefits statewide.
NEW HAMPSHIRE - $9,593,500 awarded today
New Hampshire will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption and associated costs within municipalities. This will save or create more than 100 green jobs, while increasing market activity to facilitate economic sustainability and community well-being. Seventy percent of the funds New Hampshire receives will be competitively awarded to cities and counties for a variety of activities including financial incentive mechanisms, building retrofits, energy audits, and transportation programs. Recovery Act funds will also be used to inventory municipalities’ energy use and help communities create a road map process toward increased energy efficiency and decreased energy use and fossil fuel emissions. These road map processes will involve the basic education of energy planning principles and processes, community forums to evaluate needs and priorities, assessment of community capacity, and financial planning for future grants, projects, and initiatives. New Hampshire’s remaining funds will be used for conducting program workshops and ensuring accountability with all state and federal requirements.
NEW YORK - $29,760,600 awarded today
New York will use its Recovery Act funds to contribute to the State’s goal of meeting 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2015. Projects will address local priorities by reducing energy costs, improving building efficiency and transportation systems, and incorporating renewable energy into waste management practices. It is anticipated that these projects will create hundreds of jobs statewide. Ninety percent of New York’s funds will be competitively awarded using a process that equitably distributes funding to approximately ten regions across the state. Applications will be selected based on several factors including projected energy savings, greenhouse gas emission reduction, ability to implement projects expeditiously and participation in national and state programs focused on energy efficiency and green practices. The state’s remaining funds will be used to support the promotion and adoption of more stringent energy codes for buildings in New York State, and various implementation and support services to local communities responsible for assuring compliance and administrative costs.
RHODE ISLAND - $9,593,500 awarded today
Rhode Island will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy, which is estimated to save or create hundreds of green jobs. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) will create three funding pools to advance these goals. First, a Base Grant Program will use $5,386,075 to ensure an equitable, per capita distribution of funds to all of the state’s thirty-nine cities and towns regardless of whether or not they received a direct allocation from DOE. Second, a Competitive Grant Initiative will encourage communities large and small to compete for energy-efficiency grants totaling $3,155,226. Finally, Energy Performance Contracting Incentive Grants will leverage $885,679 with private funds in order to provide up-front financing for retrofits that will be carried out by energy service companies (ESCOs). This part of the state’s EECBG program is expected to deliver the greatest decreases in energy use and the largest increases in energy efficiency, energy conservation and cost savings.
TEXAS - $45,638,100 awarded today
The State of Texas is receiving Recovery Act EECBG funding to reduce fossil fuel emissions, decrease overall energy use, and improve energy efficiency statewide. These funds will be administered by the Texas State Energy Commission Office (SECO), which will redistribute the majority the state’s funds by population-based formula grants to the approximately 1,130 cities and 244 counties in Texas that did not receive direct EECBG funds from DOE. SECO will encourage localities applying for funds to utilize proven energy conservation measures that can be undertaken quickly and have a favorable return on investment. As part of the effort to maximize the impact and longevity of the Recovery Act funds received, SECO is working with private entities and investors to identify financial incentives that cities and counties can use to match money from the EECBG program. In addition, SECO, in partnership with the Texas Historical Commission, is also using EECBG funds to retrofit county courthouses and other buildings with energy efficiency and conservation measures. Projects undertaken with these Recovery Act dollars are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 2,850,998 tons of CO2 annually, while creating hundreds of new green jobs within the state.
WASHINGTON STATE - $10,645,900 awarded today
Washington will use its EECBG Recovery Act funding to establish and support a competitive subgrant program for the implementation of greater energy efficiency measures statewide. The funds, to be administered by Washington’s Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development (CDET), will enable localities to better meet one of the most stringent energy codes in the nation. CDET will distribute more than $6 million of the state’s EECBG funding to local cities and counties with populations of less than 35,000 and 200,000 respectively. Grants will be awarded to recipients demonstrating feasible reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, longevity of activity benefits beyond the EECBG funding period, and at least a one-to-one ration for leveraged funds through public and private partnerships or other funding sources. The balance of the EECBG funding will be used for technical assistance and administering the program. The state will create an Energy Planning Program that will enable cities and counties to perform energy efficiency and conservation planning. In addition, the state will designate Resource Conservation Managers (RCM) to support the speedy implementation and overall progress of the Recovery Act-funded energy efficiency measures. The RCMs will provide oversight and accountability, ensuring that funds are being used for their appropriate designations. Successful implementation of Washington State’s program will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, while creating hundreds of jobs statewide.
WISCONSIN - $11,743,000 awarded today
Wisconsin will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy across the state’s economic sectors. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain jobs statewide. All of the funds Wisconsin receives today will be distributed to cities and counties not eligible for direct DOE funding through the EECBG program. Local governments will be selected through a competitive process, which will favor highly-leveraged projects and regional collaboration. As part of the process in awarding funding to local cities and counties, the state will develop information and application materials, conduct workshops explaining the program and application process, use teams with appropriate expertise to review and select applications, and monitor the funding throughout the program. Funds will primarily go to providing energy efficiency retrofits, energy efficiency and conservation programs for buildings and facilities, and installing energy efficient lighting. Funds also will be used to develop outreach and education efforts to the general public.
WYOMING - $9,593,500 awarded today
Wyoming will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to increase energy conservation and efficiency at the local level. A primary focus of this funding will be to retrofit existing buildings to the latest efficiency standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Wyoming estimates that these improvements will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain nearly 100 jobs statewide. The Wyoming State Energy Office will set aside $5,756,100 for smaller cities and counties to implement a wide variety of projects, including municipal, residential, and commercial energy audits, building efficiency retrofits, street lighting and traffic signal upgrades, and establishing and enforcing advanced building codes. Of the remaining funds, $3,187,400 will be made available for all eligible applicants, including those cities and counties receiving a direct allocation, non-profit organizations, joint powers boards, special districts and Tribal entities. Projects under these awards will be limited to energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings.