NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Washington, DC – Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that Wisconsin will receive $11,743,000 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and conservation activities. Under the Department of Energy’s Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, the state 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.”
DOE is announcing more than $354 million in funding today for 22 states. States receiving funding today include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Wisconsin will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy across the state’s economic sectors. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and create or retain jobs statewide. All of the funds Wisconsin receives today will be distributed to cities and counties not eligible for direct DOE funding through the EECBG program. Local governments will be selected through a competitive process, which will favor highly-leveraged projects and regional collaboration. As part of the process in awarding funding to local cities and counties, the state will develop information and application materials, conduct workshops explaining the program and application process, use teams with appropriate expertise to review and select applications, and monitor the funding throughout the program. Funds will primarily go to providing energy efficiency retrofits, energy efficiency and conservation programs for buildings and facilities, and installing energy efficient lighting. Funds also will be used to develop outreach and education efforts to the general public.
Today’s awards to 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 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and provides formula grants to states, cities, counties, territories and federally-recognized Indian tribes nationwide to implement energy efficiency projects locally.
Energy efficiency and conservation projects that are eligible for awards 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 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 http://www.eecbg.energy.gov.