WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it plans to invest $3.2 billion in energy efficiency and conservation projects in cities, counties, states, territories, and tribal lands. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will provide formula grants for projects that improve energy efficiency and reduce fossil fuel emissions. Funding is based on a formula that accounts for population and energy use, and to ensure accountability, DOE will provide guidance to grant recipients and require them to report on the number of jobs created or retained, energy saved, renewable energy capacity installed, greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and funds leveraged.

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. The grant funds could also go towards renewable energy installations on government buildings, combined heat and power systems, district heating and cooling systems, and other projects.

Cities and counties will receive nearly $1.9 billion under the block grant program, while states and territories will receive nearly $770 million, and more than $54 million will flow directly to tribal governments. States will receive and administer funds for those counties and cities that are not large enough to qualify for direct DOE funding. In addition, up to $456 million will be made available for local energy efficiency projects under a separate competitive solicitation to be released at a later date.

For more information on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, visit www.eecbg.energy.gov.

Publication date:04/06/2009