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Stimulus Report: EE and Conservation Block Grant Funds Released

$3.2 billion in energy efficiency and conservation projects for US cities, counties, states, territories, and Native American tribes was released last Thursday.  The announcement comes on the heels of $8 billion for Weatherization programs and $2.4 billion for Next Generation Electric Vehicles released earlier in March, all part of $16.8 billion allocated under ARRA for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs.

The most recently released funds will be administered under the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG), which provides federal grants to reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions through improvements in energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and “other appropriate sectors.”  Unlike the State Energy Program, EECBG emphasizes a bottom-up, community-based energy efficiency strategy through Title V of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Specific activities eligible for use of funds include:

  • Energy audits
  • Energy efficiency retrofits
  • Energy distribution technologies
  • Reduction and capture of Methane and GHGs generated by landfills
  • Energy efficient traffic signals and street lighting
  • Promotion of alternative energy technologies

Under the program, cities and counties across the US are eligible to receive $1.9 billion (for state-specific information about allocations, check here).  $770 million will go to the states and territories, which will receive and administer the funds for counties and cities not large enough to qualify for direct DOE funding.  Another $456 million will be awarded by DOE’s EERE under a seperate competitive solicitation process (to be released at a later date).

Stakeholders (including CleanTech entrepreneurs and other private entities) should contact local governments to inquire about partnering with specific projects supported by EECBG funds in their city or county.

[Flickr photo by Steve Wampler]