The Energy Department today awarded $5 million to 16 states to advance innovative approaches for clean energy development that will reduce energy bills for American families and businesses, protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions, and increase our nation's energy security and resiliency. Through the department's State Energy Program (SEP), each state will substantively advance energy efficiency and/or renewable energy, addressing a broad range of areas for advancement.  States will leverage existing energy resources and State Energy Program funding to deploy programs that support the permanent transformation of energy markets across all sectors of the economy. Several of the SEP projects are multi-state partnerships, expanding the impact of the selected proposals.

The projects fall under three categories:

  • State Energy Planning—The Energy Department will fund approximately $745,000 to assist three states—Hawaii, Minnesota, and New Mexico—to facilitate interagency discussions concerning the future direction of electric power, among other issues. States will pursue comprehensive energy planning to enhance energy reliability, energy efficiency, the integration of distributed renewable energy into the grid, and economic development and environmental policies. States will set current and future environmental and economic goals related to the energy sector.
  • Innovative Opportunities for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Practices—The department will fund approximately $4 million to assist 10 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia—to implement an array of projects to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy, including: working with utilities to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy generation goals; enabling financing mechanisms for public or private sector clean energy investment; deploying energy performance benchmarking and disclosure; standardizing evaluation and measurement and verification processes; and partnering with local governments. 
  • Technical Assistance to Advance Clean Energy Activities—The department will fund approximately $225,000 to assist three states—Florida, Montana, and West Virginia—in expanding high priority ongoing programs. This topic area, new in 2016, was developed to assist states to expand the scope of existing work.

State-led projects will culminate in replicable actions other states and local governments can adopt to overcome barriers to new energy initiatives, and enable them to achieve greater public and private investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Since 2007, the Energy Department's State Energy Program (SEP) has invested more than $77 million in 42 states through competitive awards to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy that are consistent with national energy goals.

Find expanded project descriptions on the State Energy Program Competitive Award Selections (2012-2016) web page