Obama Administration Awards More than $162 Million for State Energy Programs in Seven States and Territories
July 20, 2009
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary (DOE) Steven Chu today announced more than $162 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico. Under DOE's State Energy Program, states and territories have proposed statewide plans that prioritize energy savings, create or retain jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help to put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence," said Secretary Chu. "It reflects our commitment to support innovative state and local strategies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy while insisting that taxpayer dollars be spent responsibly."
With today's announcement, these states and territories are receiving 40% of their total State Energy Program (SEP) funding authorized under the Recovery Act. They will now have received 50% of their total Recovery Act SEP funding. The initial 10% of total funding was previously available to states to support planning activities; the remaining 50% of funds will be released once states meet reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act.
Activities eligible for State Energy Program funding include energy audits, building retrofits, education and training efforts, transportation programs to increase the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, and new financing mechanisms to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.
The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program (SEP) to help promote energy efficiency and clean energy deployment, as well as to support local economic recovery. States use these grants at the state and local level to create green jobs and address state energy priorities.
Transparency and accountability are important priorities for SEP and all Recovery Act projects. Throughout the program's implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and national level, while emphasizing with states the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies.
The following states are receiving awards today:
COLORADO - $19,688,800 awarded today
The state of Colorado will use its Recovery Act SEP funds for several projects designed to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency measures across the state. The Governor's Energy Office will provide a suite of products aimed at removing financial barriers to rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, including offering access to short-term and intermediate low-cost capital to projects in the commercial, residential and industrial sectors.
An Energy Efficiency for Existing Buildings Program will help state agencies, including public schools, reduce their energy use and carbon emissions. Using Recovery Act funds, Colorado will also substantially expand its Renewable Energy Rebates and Grants Program across the residential, commercial and industrial/utility sectors. Additionally, the office will promote greater energy efficiency in new and existing homes with programs such as a "whole house tune-up" that bundles efficiency incentives for homes.
After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive over $24 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $49 million.
DELAWARE - $9,692,400 awarded today
The state of Delaware will use its SEP Recovery Act funds to enhance energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and government sectors statewide. Delaware will use the funds to establish a Home Performance Program that will help defray costs of home energy audits and installing energy efficient equipment for families above the low-income eligibility threshold for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
The state will also help to fund energy efficiency upgrades in small businesses, commercial establishments and manufacturing facilities. These upgrades will allow Delaware's businesses to remain competitive by reducing their energy consumption and energy costs, which helps contribute to overall profitability. Recovery Act funds directed to this program will be leveraged with other state funds through the sale of allowances from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The state also will use Recovery Act funds to provide additional rebates for solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems, small wind applications, and geothermal systems for homes, businesses, and institutional buildings.
After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive over $12 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $24 million.
INDIANA - $27,448,400 awarded today
Indiana will utilize SEP Recovery Act funding to implement several energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout the state with a focus on saving and creating jobs, quickly completing projects, positive environmental impacts, measurable energy efficiency savings, and diversifying statewide energy sources. The Indiana program will include a competitive loan program to promote energy efficiency in the commercial, industrial, and manufacturing sectors in the state that will provide financial assistance for the implementation of energy efficient technologies such as lighting, controls and sensors, insulation, and appliances. Recovery Act funds will also be used to support training programs and public energy outreach and education campaigns that will provide information to consumers on the importance of energy conservation, as well as tips on how to reduce their energy consumption. The training efforts will help transition Indiana's workforce from energy intensive, high environmental impact production processes to more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly alternatives.
After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive over $34 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $68 million.
LOUISIANA - $28,677,600 awarded today
Louisiana will use its SEP Recovery Act funds to promote energy efficiency across the state's commercial, residential, and state government sectors. Under the program, the state will encourage business owners to reduce energy consumption by providing rebates for energy efficiency retrofits in commercial buildings. In the residential sector, the program will provide incentives to home builders to encourage the construction of new high energy efficiency homes and will also provide support for homeowners to improve the efficiency of existing homes. Further, the state will promote the purchase of new energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® appliances through participating utility company partners that will offer coupons for the purchase of qualifying appliances.
Additionally, the Louisiana state government will undertake a "lead-by-example" initiative, providing funding for energy efficiency retrofits for state government buildings, along with funding to encourage the deployment of efficient LED traffic lights and photovoltaic street lighting across the state. The state will also provide local governments with funds to cover a portion of the incremental costs of purchasing alternative-fuel mass transit vehicles and will fund a portion of the equipment costs for four publicly-accessible quick fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, providing essential support for the use of alternatively-fueled vehicles.
After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive more than $35 million in additional funding, for a total of nearly $72 million.
MASSACHUSETTS - $21,964,400 awarded today
Massachusetts will use its State Energy Program Recovery Act funds to advance energy efficiency across the state, especially in the building environment. The Governor's Energy Task Force identified a number of energy efficiency retrofit projects at public facilities with potential for energy and cost savings. The state intends to leverage SEP funds for these projects by using performance contracts wherever possible.
Additionally, Massachusetts will direct Recovery Act funds to help demonstrate solutions to a number of long-standing challenges in improving building energy performance which provides the opportunity to transform future energy efficiency efforts in the state. For instance, the state will provide funding for projects that will move toward the development of a net-zero energy building, along with examining ways to reduce the state's petroleum usage by expanding energy efficiency opportunities to people and businesses that use oil and propane for heating.
After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive more than $27 million in additional funding, for a total of nearly $55 million.
PENNSYLVANIA - $39,873,600 awarded today
Pennsylvania will use its Recovery Act SEP funding to provide grants and other support for energy efficiency and conservation efforts with the goal of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and stimulating growth in renewable sectors.
Pennsylvania Green Energy Works! will offer grants to businesses, non-profit organizations, universities, local governments, and utilities to deploy shovel-ready efficient, environmentally sustainable, and economically worthwhile energy projects across the state. Over a longer time horizon, Pennsylvania will continue to fund advanced energy projects, tailoring programs to specific economic sectors. For example, the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority will continue to serve business needs, while the Pennsylvania Energy Harvest will support schools, nonprofits, and local governments across Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania will also establish a Green Development Loan Program, a revolving loan fund that will provide clean-energy and energy-efficiency financing for facilities projects, resource efficiency measures, and advanced and renewable clean-energy technologies. In addition to originating loans and leveraging private capital, this fund will make outright awards to cover the costs of project feasibility studies, energy audits, or project design, which can often present significant barriers to sustainable development investments.
After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive nearly $50 million in additional funding, for a total of almost $100 million.
PUERTO RICO - $14,834,400 awarded today
Puerto Rico will use its SEP funds to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies throughout the territory with various initiatives for government, commercial, and residential sectors. Puerto Rico's Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program will provide rebates for energy efficient retrofit projects for business and government facilities and will require a 50% match by business recipients. Puerto Rico will also implement a revolving loan program for private entities to finance applicable energy projects. In the residential sector, Puerto Rico's Solar Water Heater Rebate Program will provide rebates to homeowners when they purchase and install a new solar water heater by an approved manufacturer, promoting use of residential solar water heaters as a way to reduce home energy consumption.
The territory also will fund the replacement of conventional incandescent traffic lights with energy-efficient LED traffic lights and will require that all new traffic lights be LED. Additionally, Puerto Rico will revise, develop and implement residential and commercial efficiency and conservation building codes in the Codes and Standards Program to meet international conservation code standards for all new construction. Puerto Rico will also provide funding for the Puerto Rico Energy Education and Mass Media Outreach program to promote energy efficiency and conservation awareness and education for the general public.
After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the territory will receive more than $18 million in additional funding, for a total of over $37 million.