U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to visit Rhode Island
On June 2, 2023, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm will visit the Block Island Offshore Wind Farm, America’s first offshore wind farm that has been in operation to fully power the 17,000 homes on Block Island since 2016, and created more than 300 local jobs.
Strengthening Rhode Island’s Economy
In 2021, there were over 22,000 Rhode Island workers employed in the energy sector. Across the state, over 75% of the electric power generation workforce was in wind and solar, and over 10,000 workers were employed in energy efficiency. The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, bringing an estimated $4.1 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Rhode Island between now and 2030.
Rhode Island is home to 108,360 small businesses, representing 98.9% of all businesses in the state and employing over half of Rhode Island workers, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.
Clean Energy Goals
Rhode Island has an ambitious statewide goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2033. The state already has 1152 MW of clean energy generation capacity, with an additional 778 MW of planned capacity in the works. Inflation Reduction Act tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar will help Rhode Island meet their goals, as the costs of utility-scale solar and offshore wind power are projected to drop by 25% and 67%, respectively, over the next 30 years in the state.
Rhode Island has over 700 alternative fueling stations already, which is the third highest per square mile of any state. The state will get almost $5 million in additional funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out that network even further.
Investing In Rhode Island’s Communities
Thanks to funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. Department of Energy has made available more than $25 million since 2022 to Rhode Island's state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience.
Saving Rhode Islanders Money on Home Energy Bills
As the state with the second-lowest energy consumption per capita, Rhode Islanders are well versed in energy efficiency, but now, thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, even more residents can take advantage of this clean energy measure. Rhode Island will receive almost $64 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Rhode Island could save an average of 44% on their home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency through this program.
DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $10 million in Rhode Island since 2015, leading to 322 jobs and over 600 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.
The Inflation Reduction Act also includes grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes, which would save the average new homeowner in Rhode Island 18.5% on their utility bills. That amounts to an average of $814 per year per household.
For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure