Des Moines, IA - U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $16 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Iowa. Under DOE's State Energy Program, states have proposed statewide plans that prioritize energy savings, create or retain jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is part of the Obama Administration's national strategy to support job growth, while making a historic down payment on clean energy.
"This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence," said Secretary Chu. "It reflects our commitment to support innovative state and local strategies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy while insisting that taxpayer dollars be spent responsibly."
"Iowa has been and will be a leader in alternative energy, which has meant thousands of good jobs across our state," said Governor Culver. "The support of President Obama and Secretary Chu will help Iowa do even more. State Energy Program funds will lead to more renewable energy technology for public and community facilities, greater energy efficiency throughout Iowa, and in the process new construction and manufacturing jobs to help us work our way out of the economic recession."
"Iowa is a national leader in alternative energy production and we worked hard to include significant investment in this industry in the stimulus package for job creation and business opportunities in our state," said Congressman Leonard Boswell.
With $16,218,400, Iowa will expand the Building Energy Smart Iowa Program under the Iowa Office of Energy Independence (OEI). The program is focused on increasing energy efficiency - the quickest, most effective means of reducing fossil fuel dependence. Iowa's plan provides for workforce training and public information projects, with the goal of increasing the state's capacity for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. Iowa plans to make grants of up to $100,000 to public, private and non-profit entities for energy training across the state. OEI will work with Iowa Workforce Development to monitor projects to be sure they are successful. Today's announcement represents 40% of Iowa's funding for the State Energy Program under the Recovery Act. The initial 10 percent of total funding was available to states to support planning activities; the remaining 50% of funds will be released when states meet reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act.
The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program, giving priority to achieving national goals of energy independence while helping to stimulate local economies. States use these grants to address energy priorities and to adopt emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. SEP will invest $3.1 billion from the Recovery Act to help the nation weather the ongoing economic downturn and meet key energy goals. The national program funding is intended to be spent at the local and state level for immediate economic impact. Transparency and accountability are high priorities of all Recovery Act funding on local, state, and national levels.