WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 20 communities have been selected for more than $60 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to implement local energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to help reduce energy use in American homes and businesses. Local governments, nonprofit organizations, and quasi-governmental organizations are among the recipients for the competitive grants, administered under the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.

“These projects will stimulate the economy and create jobs on the main streets of local communities across the nation through innovative investments in energy conservation, efficiency, and renewable power generation,” said Under Secretary of Energy Kristina Johnson. “We already have proven technologies to reduce energy use at home and at work. These projects will provide access to those tools for more Americans, saving money for thousands of families and businesses.”

These awards were open to local communities that were not eligible to receive the initial, population-based formula grants under the EECBG program. Award selections for the competitive program targeted innovative approaches that demonstrate a high rate of return on efficiency and renewable energy investments, achieve significant long-term benefits for the community, and act as a model for future public or private energy efficiency efforts.

Specifically, the funding supports projects that deliver energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings and establish financing programs for energy efficiency improvements. Other activities include transportation programs that conserve energy through trip reduction strategies and alternative transportation options, projects to increase recycling and reduce the energy demands of delivering and supplying clean water through water efficiency and conservation measures, the installation of energy efficient street lights, and the integrated deployment of renewable energy systems in conjunction with energy efficiency retrofits to existing buildings.

The award recipients were selected through a competitive review process that took into account the expected energy savings and reduced emissions impacts of the projects, leveraged investments from other non-federal sources, and whether the project could be replicated and expanded to contribute to a sustainable market for energy efficiency nationally. Projects that proposed innovative approaches and identified and addressed ways to overcome institutional, regulatory, or market barriers were also favored. As part of the accountability requirements under the Recovery Act, all grant recipients are required to submit quarterly reports on the number of jobs created or saved under the project, the energy saved, the renewable energy capacity installed, the greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and the funds leveraged.

The following communities have been selected for awards:

• City of Tanana: Tanana, Alaska ($1,500,000)

• Central Basin Municipal Water District: Commerce, Calif. ($2,000,000)

• County of Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara County, Calif. ($2,401,309)

• Eagle County: Eagle County, Colo. ($4,916,126)

• Connecticut Innovations, Inc.: Rocky Hill, Conn. ($4,171,124)

• St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners: St. Lucie County, Fla. ($2,941,500)

• Indiana Municipal Power Agency: Carmel, Ind. ($5,000,000)

• City of West Union: West Union, Iowa ($1,000,000)

• Riley County: Riley County, Kan. ($3,000,000)

• Town of University Park: University Park, Md. ($1,425,000)

• City of Wyandotte: Wyandotte, Mich. ($3,807,000)

• Minnesota Municipal Power Agency: Minneapolis ($3,398,252)

• Mid-America Regional Council: Kansas City, Mo. ($4,063,994)

• New Mexico Recycling Coalition: Santa Fe, N.M. ($2,795,261)

• The Bedford-Northern Westchester Energy Action Coalition (Bedford-NWEAC): Town of Bedford, N.Y. ($1,267,874)

• Columbia County: Columbia County, Ore. ($3,461,319)

• Fayette County: Fayette County, Pa. ($4,100,018)

• Rutland West Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.: West Rutland, Vt. ($4,487,588)

• Thurston Regional Planning Council: Olympia, Wash. ($2,159,021)

• Conservation Services Group, Inc.: City of Bainbridge Island and City of Bremerton, Wash. ($4,884,614)

For more information on the EECBG Program, visit www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/eecbg.html.

Publication date: 07/05/2010