DOE to Provide $3.2B in Funding for Local Energy Efficiency Improvements, Including Transportation Programs
The US Department of Energy announced the availability of $3.2 billion for investment in energy efficiency and conservation projects in US cities, counties, states, territories, and Native American tribes.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 appropriated the $3.2 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The EECBG Program itself was authorized in Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security (EISA) Act of 2007, and signed into Public Law (PL 110-140) on 19 December 2007.
The Program provides federal grants to units of local government, Indian tribes, states, and territories to reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions, and for improvements in energy efficiency. The EECBG Program is administered by the Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the US Department of Energy (DOE).
The funding will support energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements.
Other activities eligible for use of grant funds include transportation programs that conserve energy, projects to reduce and capture methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, renewable energy installations on government buildings, energy efficient traffic signals and street lights, deployment of Combined Heat and Power and district heating and cooling systems, and others.
Most of the EECBG funding (nearly $2.7 billion) will be distributed through formula grants. The balance includes approximately $455 million for competitive grants, which will be awarded through a separate Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) coming soon. A list of entities eligible for direct formula grants from the DOE and their allocation amounts is available here.
Cities and counties will receive nearly $1.9 billion under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, and states and territories will receive nearly $770 million. States will receive and administer funds for those counties and cities that are not large enough to qualify for direct DOE funding. More than $54 million will flow directly to Tribal governments.