Future Funding: Effective Models for Leveraging Public Funds (Text Version)
Moderator: Leslie, are you going to start us?
Announcer: The broadcast is now starting. All attendees are in listen-only mode.
Moderator: Hello everyone, and welcome to the Department of Energy Technical Assistance Program, Future Funding: Effective Models for Leveraging Public Funds webinar. Our presenters today are Kimberly Wollos and Bill Prindle. Before we get started, we want to talk a little bit about the DOE Technical Assistance Program, otherwise known as TAP. TAP is managed by a team in DOE's Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Department of Energy's Technical Assistance Program provides state, local, and tribal officials the tools and resources needed to implement successful and sustainable clean energy programs.
This effort is aimed at accelerating the implementation of Recovery Act projects and programs, improving their performance, increasing their return on and sustainability of Recovery Act investments, and building protracted clean energy capacity at the state, local, and tribal level. From one-on-one assistance to extensive online resource libraries to facilitation of ____ change of best practices and lessons learned, TAP offers a wide range of resources to serve the needs of state, local, and tribal officials and their staffs.
These Technical Assistance providers can provide short-term, unbiased expertise in energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, program design and implementation, financing, performance contracting, state and local capacity building, and also we're available to work with grantees at no cost to facilities peer-to-peer matching workshops and training.
We encourage everyone to utilize the TAP blog. It's a platform that allows states, cities, counties, and tribes to connect with technical and program experts and share best practices. Additionally, this blog is frequently updated with energy efficiency or renewable energy-related posts. So we encourage you to utilize this blog to ask questions of our experts, share your success stories, best practices and lessons learned, and interact with your peers.
Additionally, you can request direct assistance online via the Technical Assistance Center or by calling 1-877-EERE-TAP, and once a request has been submitted, it will be evaluated to determine the level and type of assistance TAP will provide.
now we'll turn it over to Bill Prindle.
Bill Prindle: Well thanks very much, and I guess good afternoon everyone if you're on the East Coast, or good morning if not. So today I want to talk about what I call utility sector energy efficiency programs and how grantees can leverage those kinds of funds, both now and in the future. This is really just the beginning of a number of webinars in which DOE is going to look forward as to where future money can come in to extend or otherwise supplement what's going on in the block grant world. So flipping forward one here, if we can get to the next slide. Just give us a moment to get the slide control set up here.
Moderator: Bill, you should have control if you go to the PowerPoint.
Bill Prindle: Okay. Let's see if we can move forward here. Yeah. So four major areas that I'd like to cover. One is data at the national and state level on what's going on, how much money is out there, how much is projected to be out there over the next 10 years or so. Let's focus a little bit on what the Recovery Act says in terms of guidance for how grantees are suggested to work with existing efficiency and other clean energy programs. The third point is, so how do you actually work with utilities and the other organizations that design and approve and run programs in that sector. And then finally, trying to focus in on next steps and action plans, so you can do something with this information.
So on this next slide we have a chart of the last four years of funding. These are electric or gas efficiency programs, run typically at the state level, sometimes by a utility, sometimes by a state agency, sometimes by a third party. And what you see is that since 2006, total funding in this arena - this is primarily energy efficiency - has essentially doubled, and that's pretty good. If you look back further, around the turn of the century, these kinds of programs were well under $1 billion, so over the last 10 years you've seen more than a five-fold increase in the dollars available. Just by way of baselining, federal funding - if you take a typical non-Recovery Act year or a DOE EDPA - the grant funding going out to states and locals is typically well under $1 billion, and so it's not too hard to see that most of the money that's available is actually out there in the states and is substantial.
So as we flip forward, this is just a regional breakout. You can see that the Northeast and the West Coast, which historically have been among the most active, have the most funding, but there's still substantial dollars being spent in the Midwest and South as well.
And if we go forward one more time, this is a per capita spending chart which shows, on a relative basis, how much states are spending on a per-citizen basis. So a state like Vermont rises to the top, although, of course, if you look at California which is ranked sixth in per capita spending, California has a 30 or 35 times as many capitas, so the total dollar amount can actually be much different. If you look at total dollar spending you'd see the larger states lining up at the top, as you might expect. But nonetheless, there's quite a distribution of states. There's obviously Northeast and generally the West Coast states, and now you see Iowa and Wisconsin and Nevada coming in there well above average too. So the dollars are being increasingly distributed around and not just spent in the usual suspects kinds of states.
Alright. So this next slide is a projection done by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab last year, in which they took all the available information on legislation, utility, commission decisions, and known budgets and so forth, and they projected with the total spending range could be out to 2020. And so if you take, for example, the orange bar as the median projection, they were projecting spending in the order of $5+ billion by 2012, but as you noticed two slides earlier, the 2009 data already showed spending at that level. So this LBL report is being proven to be conservative, if anything, so it's hard to predict what will happen 5 years, 10 years down the road, given the vagaries of politics and recessions and so forth. But there is evidence that these trends are actually being realized.
If you look out to 2020, the totals could run anywhere from $6 to $12 billion, which is as much as twice the spending level that's out there now. So indication is that this is not a one-time phenomenon that's going to easily fade away.
Now let's just kick this slide forward here, if I can get the controls to move again. I'm just waiting for the system to catch up here. I don't seem to be able to get this slide to advance, but hang in there for a second. Alright, let's see if we can get this to go forward now. No, I'm going to need a little help from the meeting coordinator to get this slide control to work.
Moderator: You can use the arrows in the bottom left-hand corner of the slide, where the page number is.
Bill Prindle: Okay. So a bit of summary, guidance in terms of what was stated in the legislation and what subsequence guidance has come out from the DOE and members of Congress and so on. The most common phrase you see is "supplement, don't supplant" which most people have heard by now, a strong suggestion being that grantees should work as closely as possible with existing programs and their managers. One of the most obvious ways in which that works in a synergistic way is that block grant projects are not typically limited by the same kinds of cost effectiveness tests that particularly regulated utility programs have to meet. And so what that means is that block grant dollars can, in many cases, pay for measures that wouldn't necessarily qualify under utility programs.
For example, there's one Midwest state that I've worked in, in which the utility was developing a multi-family audit and retrofit program, but given the cost-effectiveness limits that were applied, the types of measures that could be installed in a typical apartment building were basically just common area lighting fixtures and a few lighting measures, maybe a few hot water measures in individual apartments. But, the energy audit phase of this program would identify lots of other measures: heating system improvements, even measures as expensive as window replacements, and so forth.
And so there were some discussions between utility and the state energy office about, well, is there a way to coordinate program operations so that when the energy audit shows that there are measures that would be technically and economically attractive but wouldn't qualify under the utility program - in that case it was SEP dollars - but whether Recovery Act dollars could be used for those measures. And the short answer is "Yes," and the long answer is, "Well, how do you actually get that to work on a day-to-day, month-to-month basis?" and that's something we'll get to in a moment.
Alright. So I wanted to touch on three flavors of utility sector program funding that dominate the landscape out there, and I'm talking here primarily about investor-owned utilities, IOUs serve about 75 percent of the customers. You know, in your area you might be served by a municipal utility or a rural coop. In this case we're focusing primarily on investor-owned service areas. So there's three flavors.
One is the Public Benefits Fund Concept, which exists in about 20 states. Public benefits funds were created primarily during the late 1990s as electricity industry restructuring proceeded to sweep about half the states, and public benefits funds were a way of preserving some of the energy efficiency programs that had gone on during the earlier 1980s and 1990s. A public benefit fund is essentially just a small charge - per kilowatt hour, typically, or per customer - collected through the utility billing system, but the fund itself can be administered different ways. The utility might wind up administering the money, or the state agency might do it, or a third party, a non-profit, or a contractor group could actually administer the money, and all three models are found across the country.
So, when you have a public benefits fund, it's the funding level that really drives the limit of program activity. If you have a $10 million program, you find the best way to spend $10 million. Because these are public benefit programs and utility shareholders are not involved typically, and there are, in some states, less concerns about attributing the credit for the savings, tracking the cost-effectiveness really closely - there's more of a general sense of wanting to transform the market. And so in that environment you can have a lot more flexibility and creativity in designing programs and adapting them and so forth without having to have as much regulatory scrutiny as you would otherwise.
So for block grantees, get to know your administrator. It might be the utility, it might be a state agency, it might be a non-profit group, and just let them know you're interested and see what can be done collaboratively to shape the future of these programs such that the kinds of things that you'd started to do with block grant funds can be carried on and maybe even extended.
Alright. Let's see if we can get to, I'm trying to flip this forward. Here we go. The second flavor is generically called the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard approach. About 19 states have these in place. The difference between the resource standard approach and the public benefits fund approach is that under an EERS, it's the energy savings that really drive the overall programs. The specific numbers are set - X percentage of total energy sales, or X total megawatt hours or therms of gas - hard numbers are set out there, and so that tends to drive everything that happens in that space.
In some states, caps have been set on rate impacts. In other words, rates can't go up more than X percent per year, and maybe cumulative impact as well - no more than maybe a couple of percent cumulatively on rates so that customers are not adversely affected in terms of their total bills. And again, the programs can be administered by utilities or others, but there's typically a much more direct accountability link with this standard, where the utility is responsible for meeting the target. And typically a utility commission will look hard at the question of attributing savings and the accompanying cost effectiveness. So in that kind of environment, where there's typically long-term saving goals - a lot of goals are set for 2015 or even 2020 - there's a longer planning horizon. Again, you can sit down with folks who are doing that work and say, "Look, we've got some ideas for you. You may have these five or six programs, but if you were work with us in such and such a way, we can help you get closer to your savings." And there's often a receptive attitude there.
Alright. The third flavor is what I would call the Regulatory Process Model for Demand Side Management, as it was often called during the 80s and 90s, and some states still go this way. Programs are not driven by preset funding or savings. It's basically a bottom-up approach where the utility has to file a plan for its overall resource acquisition, and has to show how much it's planning to do on the demand side. Programs get administered typically by utilities or their contractors, and in the regulatory process there's typically a lot of scrutiny about, are programs working, or are they cost effective, and so on and so forth. A lot of parties get involved. So if you're in that situation, as a grantee, you want to get involved more directly in the regulatory process, and in some cases I've seen local governments actually get intervener status with the Public Utility Commission. You can also do that through associations like a state municipal association, so it doesn't have to be everyone for themselves.
So those are just three flavors that you might encounter in working with utilities. But I wanted to dive a little bit deeper now into, so, how do you actually work effectively in a utility program setting. I divided the program types roughly in two. One is public buildings, where you're essentially trying to retrofit your own building stock, publicly owned building stock, and obviously, the first thing to do is to find out what programs are out there and what measures they cover, if there's something already on the street. If you haven't actually already designed projects you can then take that into effect. You can design your projects to use the block grant funds to supplement what utilities will play, and the example here is, let's say a utility program has some standardized rebates or lighting retrofits and air conditioning equipment replacement.
So, you could use block grant funds to focus more on building envelope windows, and insulation and air sealing, and perhaps heating equipment that's appropriate in your climate zone. So it's a simple example of supplementary funding where you get maximum leverage. And again, be interactive and collaborative with the program administrator. If you've got some ideas, you might actually evolve the program to a more effective basis in the next round.
The other major category is market focus programs, where you're trying to get money out to privately owned homeowners, building owners, someone, and obviously the partnership there, you want to at least be able to get help in promoting as well as supplementing the block grant funded programs that you're trying to put out there. In some cases, utilities can directly administer at least some part of funding or services, and that would have to be very specific to the appropriate situation. That's one option.
You could also promote utility programs in a complementary way to what the block grant program offers. So for example, let's say you have a block grant program that focuses on home energy retrofits, and let's say the utility has a residential program that has very specific incentives that will pay a certain amount for air conditioner replacement, it'll pay a certain amount for duct sealing, and it'll pay for a discounted energy audit. Well, that won't cover all the measures you might want to do in a house, so you essentially try to coordinate promotion and operations. And depending on the situation, the grantee might actually get involved in coordinating the rebate processing, so that homeowner has less to do to get their measures installed.
Alright. So a couple of other points. Data sources. As I'm sure anyone who's done their grant reporting design knows, you need to get data from somewhere, and more and more utilities are getting involved in trying to provide easier access to customer billing data, or things like initial benchmarking, but also - and particularly in this case - for periodic reporting as the block grant rules require. It's not universal or even that widespread yet, but there is a growing trends towards automated benchmarking, in which you can get electronic billing data retrieved on an automatic basis through an EPA-designed Web facilities. And if that's the case, that just makes your data access a whole lot easier, and again, that's something where you'd have to talk to the utility in your area to see if they're looking at it, considering it and so forth. I know EPA can certainly help set that up if that's of interest.
Let's see. Flipping forward one more. So, two key issues. Obviously coordination is basic. It does take time and effort to work out the details so that you actually have working relationships, and you can actually keep up in real time with what's going on with a lot of projects floating around. You have to judge whether your organization has the bandwidth to manage that, but it can work and it has worked.
The question of attribution comes up, particularly where the grantee has to report savings data and other impact data, and utilities that are under various kinds of regulatory requirements, they have to report their impact. And so where you have funds that are committed to the same markets and sometimes they're in the same project, there need to be agreements made as to how the savings get split up. It can get unnecessarily complex to try and do some sort of detailed engineering estimate. There are generally more reasonable rules of thumb to apply, but that's something that may need to happen when the funds get mixed in those ways.
And so moving to the action plan, and these may be obvious to some of you, but if you haven't already called your utility, get on the phone and find out what's out there, and also what's coming down the pike, because as the state data pointed out, there is expected to be a lot of growth in funding, and it various greatly by state and region but you may be in a lucky spot that you didn't know about where there's going to be new programs and new money coming down the line.
The second point is if you haven't actually gotten your program on the street or finished the project design, coordinate with utilities. Find the maximum leverage. Find out exactly what kinds of measures and how much they'll play, and see how much leverage you can get in the first program year. And if your programs and utility programs are already on the street, there's always work that can be done to coordinate promotion and operations and some back and forth reporting and so on, just to send referrals across, or whatever works, given the particular nature of the two programs.
And fourth and last point, if programs are still in the planning stage or if there are going to be future opportunities, by all means put your hat into that ring and become a participant in those processes, because the indications are that in a lot of states there will be new money, new planning, and in some states, frankly, the administrators are looking for new ideas because they have savings goals that are very tough to meet. And so if folks step forward, it could be met with open arms, but you won't find out unless you call.
So that is my quick tour, and like to turn the presentation - well, actually, three little resource websites, three sites. ACEEE, DSIRE, and NASIO each have some useful information on their websites, and I believe this presentation will be posted after a bit, so you don't necessarily have to scribble down those URLs. So I will close with my contact information. If you have specific followups I'll be happy to answer those. And at this point I'm going to flip forward and turn the mike over to my colleague, Kim Wollos.
Kimberly Wollos: Thanks, Bill. So I am going to talk about leveraging different HUD programs, many of which have been in existence for 10, 20, and in some cases 40 or more years. So I will go through a variety of those programs that are out there, and share how those can be leveraged, how block grant funds can supplement that funds that are currently available for a variety of HUD grantees to really make housing that's funded by HUD more energy efficient and green. And then I'll go through some considerations when leveraging HUD funds, including just the wide variety of program rules that various HUD programs have, some next steps that you can take to become engaged in these different HUD programs, and then some available resources as well as a few programs that are kind of rolling out from HUD and the feature.
Okay. So HUD is really seeking to support sustainable housing and sustainable community efforts in their existing and even in some of these new programs that are coming out. A lot of their strategic plan really, for the next 5 to 10 years, really focuses on improving energy efficiency, green, in not only the housing itself but also in the surrounding communities and neighborhoods. Many of HUD's programs provide loans and grants for building or retrofitting housing for low- and moderate-income households, as well as building community facilities and a few other activities.
The eligible uses, beneficiaries, activities, income limits, affordability, rents all kind of vary by program, and some of these programs are for specific populations such as the elderly or the homeless. The points of contact for all of these programs also vary, so there's Housing and Community Development Departments within state and local governments. There's also State Housing Finance Agencies, Public Housing Authorities, nonprofits, and so on. So as we go through each slide, I have links for where you can find the contact information for all of these various programs. You can find who the local grantees are and contract them, because that information is often very difficult to find.
Over the past 5 to maybe 10 years, HUD has been encouraging improvement in energy efficiency. They support the ENERGY STAR program, LEED, Green Communities. A lot of these standards and certification programs are in a variety of their program ___ so folks get either bonus points or some sort of incentives for meeting these standards when they build or rehab particular housing. There is the potential for a lot of synergy between HUD programs with DOE programs to leverage these funds together to really be able to start to do some significant energy efficiency improvements, and even start doing more in the area of renewable energy technology.
The block grant program can help to pay for some of the more expensive measures, a lot of the things that Bill had mentioned, from windows all the way up to renewable energy technology, which is just a huge expense that many of these programs don't often have enough subsidy to cover.
This next slide shows the starting point, by no means a comprehensive list of a variety of HUD programs that can be leveraged with the block grant funds. Most of these are kind of the bread and butter of HUD programs in developing affordable housing, community facilities, etc., and then there are a few that are ERA-funded programs such as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. So we'll briefly go through each of these programs. I will provide the purpose of the program, who the grantees are, where to find the local points of contact or more information about the program, as well as how the block grant can be used with these _____.
So to start, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program is an ERA-funded program and it began in 2009, and the third round of NSP funding was just recently allocated, and those funds from the point at which they are allocated they need to be expended within four years from the point at which their allocated. So these funds will be available pretty much unless there's another round of NSP funds from now until 2012, up to something like 2015.
The use of these funds is to build, fix, resell, foreclose, and abandon homes. The grantees are state and local governments. Within those state and local governments they are housing and community development departments, and there are also nonprofits who are direct recipients. Many of those are national nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, Community Builders, etc. This link, if you follow that link - which the slides, again, will be available after this webinar - it takes you to a page where you can search for the grantees that are in your local areas, and it provides all of their contact information.
HUD has been encouraging NSP grantees to strategically try to incorporate green building and energy efficiency improvements into rehabilitation projects, as well as new construction, to provide long-term affordability, increase sustainability and attractiveness of the housing which serve low-income households, as well as the target neighborhood within these larger communities. And so, the block grant program can help pay for energy audits or help to pay for some of the energy efficiency retrofits, or even help with the infrastructure that surrounds these homes and neighborhoods, making it more pedestrian-friendly or green or energy efficient. And so there's a variety of ways that the block grant can help to support this program that already exists. There's more information available on this website about the NSP program.
The next program is the Community Development Block Grant program. This program has been around since the 70s. There is something like 1,200 grantees throughout the country. Those grantees are state and local governments, and within those governments they are the housing and community development developments. CDBG is an entitlement program that provides services that revitalize neighborhoods, provide economic development, community facilities. So some of the more specific items are community buildings, rehabbing housing, acquiring housing, road infrastructure, water facilities, commercial, industrial, and agricultural projects. The CDBG awards range something between $70,000 and $195 million annually to these different government agencies.
The overall CDBG is trying to prevent and eliminate slum and blight, and are working towards greater neighborhood revitalization efforts, and incorporating green measures into either the housing that's being rehabbed or community facilities, etc. And so, the energy efficiency block grant can help to support this through any type of energy efficiency improvement in the housing that's being rehabbed and community facilities and infrastructure projects, etc.
There is also the Indian Community Development Block Grant which is very, very similar to the regular CDBG. The difference is who the grantees are, and so the grantees of this program are Indian tribes or tribal organizations, and the link that's provided on this slide will take you to a list of the 2009 ICDB recipients. It also details some of the projects that those grantees are working on, and some of them are construction of the senior center, an activity center with a gymnasium, housing rehabilitation for the elderly using ENERGY STAR appliances, hospital, water sewer extension, etc., so there is a wide variety of community development projects that support improving the lives of low-income people in Indian and Native Alaskan communities.
Another program that supports Indian tribes is the Indian Housing Block Grant program. This program seeks to provide housing and housing services for low-income Indian families who live on either reservations or other Indian areas. Recently, energy efficiency and conservation was added to the description of housing rehabilitation as an eligible use, and this is potentially significant if tribal entities include energy efficiency and green retrofit work in their grant applications. So again, we can see that HUD is sort of moving in this direction of energy efficiency, and the block grant can also help to support the efforts of this program in a lot of the same ways as many of the other programs that we've already talked about, whether it's through energy audits or energy improvements in the rehabilitation of housing, etc.
Next we have the Home Investment Partnership program, and this program has been around since the 90s. It's the largest federal block grant, state and local governments, that is designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. These state and local governments often partner with local nonprofit groups to fund a wide range of activities that buy, build, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or home ownership. They also provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. Again, you can find who these local contact are through this link, as well as more information about the Home program. Again, it's the same similar ways as the other programs, where the block grant can help support the Home program.
The next HUD program is the Section 202, which is housing for the elderly. This is a competitive program which provides affordable housing or supportive services for the elderly. In the competition for this program there are points that are awarded for projects that include ENERGY STAR or other energy efficient measures, as well as green building measures, or that will meet some sort of certification program such as LEED or Enterprise Green Communities. The grantees for this program, unlike some of the other programs, are private nonprofits, and so a lot of them are community development corporations across the country. I could not find a central place where all of the grantee contact information lives, but there is a link for more information about the program.
In doing another sort of related project, we found some successful models of combining Section 202 with a variety of other funding sources, one of which was Enterprise Green Communities. Another was a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Services. So, there is a lot of potential for other funding sources to combine with Section 202 to help fund the energy efficiency and green building improvements. This program, as well as the next program that we'll talk about, is in need of additional subsidy to help pay for energy efficiency and green measures, because there isn't enough funding for that to go around.
Similar to the Section 202 program, the Section 811 program is a competitive program that provides funds to build affordable rental housing with supportive services. The real difference between these two programs is who they serve, so Section 811 services persons with disabilities. Similar to Section 202, there really is a need to identify additional subsidies that can help support energy efficiency improvements and measures in new construction as well as in existing buildings. And again, there have been successful models in the field of combining funding sources such as Section 811 with the Weatherization Assistance Program, as well as with the Green Retrofit Program, to help fund a large-scale energy efficiency investment into a multi-family apartment building. In that one particular case, they were able to fund renewable energy technology because there were able to identify a variety of funding sources.
The next program is the Public Housing Capital Fund. This is a competitive program that provides priority investments for making energy conservation retrofits in public housing. In the development of financing and modernization of public housing, grantees are limited to public housing authorities, and this program is really seeking to leverage additional funding. This is effectively a private sector funding, but other funding would also be used for some of the uses of this program, including improvements to energy efficiency as well as water use through fixtures and fittings, integrated utility management, deferred maintenance needs, etc. The list kind of goes on of all of the needs that public housing has.
Another program is the HOPE VI Revitalization Program. This program provides grants to improve severely distressed public housing through demolishing, rehabilitating, or replacing the public housing, as well as improving or revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood. There are about five to six awards per year, and the awards range from $1.5 million to $50 million for the public housing authorities. There is a lot more information on their website about what they're trying to do through this program, and there's a wide variety of ways in rehabbing the public housing that could be made more energy efficient and more green.
So those are a long list of a variety of programs that are out there that HUD is working on, in trying to improve the energy efficiency and green characteristics of their housing, much of which is affordable housing to low-income households.
Some considerations on leveraging HUD funds, I think one of the first things is actually the coordination piece, so getting to know whoever that grantee is, whether it's someone in the local or state government in the Housing and Community Development Office, nonprofits, whoever it might be, and figuring out where exactly they are at in the process. Many of these grantees don't know where to begin with energy efficiency, and so to the extent that you all can provide them with some strategy or guidance and then help to support these programs through funding specific energy efficiency measures.
Two other key things about leveraging HUD funds is that with all HUD programs there are number of rules, so it's important to understand which rules apply when combining funds. These can be related to eligible uses of funds, affordability restriction grants, income, etc. It's just important once you've established a relationship with these local governments to figure out exactly how these funding sources can work together, and a lot of it just depends on the needs that are identified.
Along those lines are also subsidy layering rules. A variety of HUD programs require an analysis when combining funds, to determine if the project is feasible and viable over the long term, and its HUD funds are being overused or underused.
So some next steps, and we already talked about some of these. The first step is getting to know who those local program contacts are and determining what the opportunities are to support energy efficiency and green building efforts. I think if those local agencies have not developed some sort of strategy to the extent that you can participate in that process to develop the strategy, because it's a long-term plan for energy efficiency in many of these programs. And then also, if local agencies have not yet begun designing or developing the housing or incorporating energy efficiency or green building into their programs, find ways that you can support those activities to increase the energy efficiency of either the existing housing or housing that is going to be developed.
There is some additional information that is available on leveraging HUD resources, as well as other federal resources that are available. HUD has a page on their website and it's Green Homes and Communities, which kind of lists a long list of other resources that are also available, and there's also contact information for folks at HUD headquarters if folks have questions about particular programs. Green For All is another website that has a particularly helpful resources which is Bringing Home The Green Recovery, and that details a bunch of different funding sources that are available, and the same thing with the ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, which also provides some listings and descriptions of federal funding that is available and can be leveraged together, even beyond the programs that we discussed.
So future funding. There are two programs that will be coming out soon, as far as the allocations are concerned. The first is the Choice Neighborhoods Program. This program is really aimed at transforming communities that are in need of revitalization and to use sustainable energy efficient mixed income neighborhoods. I believe the no ____ already went out for this particular program, and so local governments, public housing authorities, nonprofits, or profits, etc., applied for this program, and you can see the amount of funding that was available, as well as the maximum individual grant amounts for the planning and implementation grants. And then there's also a part of HUD's website that provides more information about the Choice Neighborhoods Program.
There is also the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant that, I believe, the no____ has already come out for those. These really seek to improve regional planning, integrate housing and transportation, improve land use, and their goal is to really make communities more sustainable. Energy efficiency is a large part of that so consortiums of local governments, regional planning agencies, nonprofits, and Indian tribes were the applicants for this program. There is $100 million available and there is a lot more information about that program on HUD's website.
So those two programs, the grantees haven't been chosen yet and things haven't quite gotten started, but I think as you're looking for future funding from HUD, these two programs are definitely a good place to also look.
You'll have the slides and here's my contact information, if you have any questions about any of these programs or would like more information about something we discussed. I will turn it over to Courtney.
Moderator: Thank you, Kim. And it looks like we have a few questions, and if anybody else has questions you can type it into the question box. So Kim and Bill, if you're available for some of these. The first question we have is from Heather, and she asks, "Do any HUD programs provide funding for residential solar or other on-site renewable energy generation?"
Kimberly Wollos: Renewable energy is an allowable use of many of these different program funds. However, it's often not the starting place for a lot of these housing projects. A lot of them just need basic energy efficiency measures to really get started, especially with the existing housing. Many of these programs haven't really begun to tap into renewable energy technology. The Green Retrofit Program, which is another ERA-funded program, which HUD is managing, does provide funds for renewable energy regeneration, and that program is specific to Section 202, Section 811, and Section 8 housing, so it's a subset of those particular housing types.
Moderator: Okay. And the next question is from Cindy Layton, and she asks, "What is the age for elderly?"
Kimberly Wollos: I believe it is 62 but let me just double check so I don't give you any wrong information. Yes, it is 62 years of age or older.
Moderator: Okay. Great. So the next one is from Curtis, and he asks, "Is there opportunity for EECBG recipients to obtain or leverage foundation funding, and if so, how?"
Kimberly Wollos: Yes, there definitely is. One example that I can think of off of the top of my head is the Enterprise Green Communities Program also provides grant funding to nonprofits who are developing affordable housing and meeting the Green Communities' standard, so that's very narrow and specific. There are other foundations that are providing funding. I could look and see if I can identify some of those. A lot of it also depends on which foundations are in your local area, or some of them are very regional-focused, but I think that this might also be an opportunity for the Technical Assistance Program to maybe provide some additional information about some foundations that might be available.
Moderator: Okay. Our next question is from Catherine Daniel, and she asks, "Do you have recommendations on funding sources that might be combined to perform efficiency retrofits in existing housing stock that has additional issues like asbestos, mold, lead, or serious structural issues that efficiency funds often won't or can't cover?"
Kimberly Wollos: Many of the HUD programs, when they do certain types of rehabilitation, they often have to pay for lead abatement or whatever lead process that they need to go through to deal with a lead-based paint issue, so many of the HUD programs will cover the cost of that. I'm not sure if there are other programs or if there's more specific information that would be helpful.
Moderator: Okay. So we have another question from Dan, and he asks, "Can you provide information as to what constitutes low-income and moderate households?" They would like specific guidelines to see if any of their tribal members would qualify.
Kimberly Wollos: Each of these programs has different guidelines that define what percentage of the housing that they're serving needs to be occupied by either very low income, low income, or moderate income households. For example, with the Home Program, all of the housing must be occupied by households whose annual gross income does not exceed 80 percent of area median income, and they have other requirements within that about what percentage of households have to have their annual gross income at or below 60 percent of area median income, or at or below 50 percent of area median income. Fifty to 60 percent of area median income is defined as low income, so it sort of varies by program, but that's just an example. All of these different programs, if you go to their websites, they do list what income requirements they have.
Moderator: Okay. Thank you for that. And the last question is from Harry Gardner, and he asks, "Do you believe Department of Labor does currently have or will in the near future integrate job creation program needs into the ECBG plan from their agency?"
Kimberly Wollos: I probably am not the best person to answer that question. I'm not really sure what direction DOL is going in. In putting together the information, I know that one of the links at the end of the slides does have more information about all of the different DOL programs that are specific to jobs creation, and so buried in there might be the answer to that question and maybe that's something that we can ask some of our colleagues here and find an answer to.
Moderator: Okay. Great. Well, I think that's the end of the questions, and so I want to thank Kim and Bill for presenting today, and I also want to let the audience know that this is the first in a series of upcoming webinars, so if you can join us again, right now we have the calendar up for the future dates in October and we will also have more scheduled in November and December. We look forward to your attendance at the next webinar, and thanks again Kim and Bill.