Battle Creek, MI - U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $32 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Michigan. 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."
"These Recovery Act funds will help us accelerate existing efforts to diversify our Michigan economy, recognize savings through greater energy efficiency, and create sustainable jobs for thousands of workers," said Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "We will continue to leverage our unique natural resources and world-class workforce to build a new energy economy, capitalizing on the enormous potential this sector offers for the future of our state and the nation."
"At a time when Michigan families are hurting, this type of community action to promote energy efficiency will offer a much-needed boost to our economy," said Congressman Schauer. "By making our homes and businesses more energy efficient, we can reduce the demand for electricity, lower utility bills for consumers, and move America toward energy independence."
With $32,814,000, Michigan will focus its State Energy Program funding on four overarching, three-year goals: reducing energy consumption in public buildings by 20 percent by 2012, establish green communities, create markets for renewable energy systems, and create sustainable jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors. These goals are designed to stimulate local and state economies and create jobs. Recovery Act funds will be administered by Michigan's Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. Today's announcement represents 40% of Michigan'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.
Additionally, initial Recovery Act funds will be used for implementing energy efficiency in the private sector. The state will work with two major utilities to conduct onsite energy audits in 500 homes and businesses. The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth will build partnerships with the electric utilities and Michigan's Weatherization Program to gather and analyze data on energy conservation measures in buildings and energy efficiency in homes.
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.