Washington, DC - Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that DOE is awarding nearly $40 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Florida and Maine to support clean energy projects. 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."
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 Recovery 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 the 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 Home Page.
DOE announced today that the following states are receiving their state-level EECBG awards:
FLORIDA - $30,401,600 awarded today
Florida will use its EECBG funding to promote energy efficiency across the state, including competitive grants to local cities and counties, energy retrofits for existing state buildings, rebates for plug-in electric vehicles, and education and training initiatives that will help reduce energy use and save money statewide. In addition to awards to smaller cities and counties, Recovery Act funding will help support the Sunshine State Building Initiative, which will fund the installation of a variety of energy conservation measures at existing state buildings. This will reduce energy bills for tax payers, while helping the state meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2012.
The state will also establish a program to provide rebates for the purchase of hybrid plug-in electric conversion kits for residential vehicles and commercial fleets. Converted vehicles will be six times more fuel efficient than standard gasoline cars, achieving roughly 100 miles per gallon and reducing oil consumption by up to 70 percent compared to conventional gasoline vehicles. Additional EECBG funds will be used for a variety of education and outreach initiatives, including energy code training, programs to improve energy code compliance and effectiveness measurement, and education efforts. These programs will create hundreds of green jobs across the Sunshine State.
MAINE - $9,593,500 awarded today
Maine will use its Recovery Act EECBG funds to promote the development of clean and sustainable energy infrastructure, laying the groundwork for a more prosperous economy while saving or creating more than 100 green jobs in the state. Approximately sixty percent of the state's funds will be competitively awarded to local cities and counties for energy saving projects, such as financial incentive programs, energy efficiency retrofits, transportation programs, energy distribution measures, and the installation of renewable energy technologies on government buildings.
The remaining EECBG funds will be combined with Recovery Act funding from the State Energy Program to support the Large Project Impact Fund that will provide grants for large-scale commercial projects. Eligible activities for these awards will include improved insulation, air sealing, efficiency improvements in heating sources and distribution, efficiency controls and automation, efficiency upgrades in glazing, and other proven cost-effective measures.