WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that 20 U.S. communities will receive $7.8 million in grants for projects designed to increase energy efficiency, save consumers money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These Climate Showcase Communities have developed a variety of projects, many of which address improving energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and/or public buildings.

Preliminary calculations by the grant applicants estimate that by 2012 the projects will reduce about 135,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and save more than $4.5 million per year in energy costs. Several projects are expected to create or maintain jobs and provide green job training.

The funded communities will be contributing more than $5.6 million in matching or leveraged funds and committing to share lessons learned. Grantees selected for the Climate Showcase funds are also required to show their ability to achieve ongoing greenhouse gas reductions as well as to track, measure, and show progress toward their goals.

EPA will monitor the progress of grant recipients and will post quarterly updates about each recipient online. An additional $2.2 million is still under review and is expected to be awarded in the next few months to five additional local governments.

For more information on the grants and the grant recipients, visit www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/.

Publication date:03/15/2010