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Friday, June 14, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $12 Million to Support Local Projects to Save Energy in 17 State and Local Governments

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $12.1 million to three states and 14 local governments for the next round of formula grants through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. These projects, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help advance state and local governments’ efforts to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and lower overall energy use.   

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to lowering energy costs and increasing energy resilience for communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to the President’s agenda, federal funding is going directly to state and local governments to help lessen the energy burdens felt across the nation and generate cleaner, cheaper power while creating a healthier environment for all.”  

This is the sixth tranche of formula awards granted to EECBG Program eligible entities. Since the first awards were announced in October 2023, the program has awarded over $130.5 million to 151 communities. Overall, the program provides more than $430 million in formula grant funding to 2,708 states, territories, local governments, and Tribes. Entities have the option to choose activities from 14 eligible categories of clean energy projects and programs that fulfill their clean energy objectives.  

The awards announced this month include governments that will use the funds to conduct energy assessments and upgrades at community centers and schools, develop climate action plans, provide vouchers for e-bike purchases, launch solar incentive programs for low- and moderate-income households, and more. This funding will advance the President’s Justice40 Initiative which sets the goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 

Learn more about what grantees in this tranche are doing with their funds below and on our website

Buffalo, NY will pilot a resilience hub development program by performing an energy assessment and net-zero building retrofit on the Delavan-Grider Community Center. This center serves as a focal point for community programming and public aid in a predominantly Black and energy burdened neighborhood. The retrofit will decrease energy costs and improve the center’s capacity to provision key resources before, during, and after extreme weather events. The city will convene local workshops to ensure the pilot facility meets community needs while informing future efforts to equitably decarbonize public facilities. Buffalo will host a Community Energy Fellow to support their project. (Award amount: $293,740

Green Bay, WI will hire an Outreach and Engagement Specialist to lead an electrification and energy efficiency outreach campaign for residents, small businesses, and non-profits. The specialist will develop a strategy and outreach materials to implement the city’s Clean Energy Green Bay Plan and provide technical assistance to residents on best practices and available incentives for home electrification and energy efficiency upgrades. The city will also collaborate with the nearby Oneida Nation to provide tailored resources on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Home Energy Rebates Programs for Tribal members in areas that overlap with the city’s jurisdiction. The project will follow EECBG Program Blueprint 2C: Building Efficiency & Electrification Campaign. (Award amount: $159,610

Madison, WI will hire a consultant to build a web and database system to effectively implement the city’s new Building Energy Savings Program (BESP). Created in 2023, the BESP requires commercial buildings in the city to make sustained progress on improved energy efficiency and carbon pollution reduction. The software will enable the city to benchmark and analyze energy usage across buildings covered by the BESP, helping to streamline compliance and measure program impact. The consultant will also provide help center support and trainings for building owners and managers, and compliance tracking for building energy benchmarking and tune-ups. (Award amount: $291,340

Pierce County, WA will spearhead two plans to reduce energy use and emissions in county buildings to comply with the state’s 2028 Clean Building Standards. First, the county will update its energy compliance plan to include actionable strategies to reduce energy use across four county facilities by 64 kBtus per square foot per year, saving public funds spent on utilities. Second, the county will design and begin implementing a clean building retrofit for Sprinker Recreation Center, including conversion to electricity. This retrofit will save 2,000 MBtus of energy annually and increase the comfort and health of a public-facing facility in an underserved environmental justice community. (Award amount: $497,770) 

San Diego County, CA will launch two pilot programs to increase the equitable deployment of community clean energy and advance the county’s Climate Action Plan. First, through the Equitable Solar Installation Program, the county will conduct outreach and cover upfront installation costs of solar panels for 24 low- and moderate-income households. This will follow EECBG Program Blueprint 3C: Solarize Campaigns. With its remaining funds, the county will stand up an Electric Cooktop Loaner Program. Three kits of portable electric cooktops and induction burner cooking equipment will be available at 17 county facilities for residents to borrow for multiple weeks to test and learn about clean induction cooktop technology. (Award amount: $526,750

San Francisco, CA will electrify and weatherize up to 100 single-family and small multi-family buildings in underserved communities throughout the city, in partnership with the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) and local grassroots organizations. Retrofits will focus on heat pump water heaters, building envelope weatherization, and other measures to increase energy efficiency and reduce residential energy burdens. The program will advance the city’s building electrification goals and leverage existing incentives to further reduce the cost of home electrification upgrades. (Award amount: $796,610) 

Virginia will sub-grant 60 percent of its award to small and rural local governments for energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The state will also launch a marketing, education, and outreach (MEO) program to help residents decrease their energy costs and navigate financial incentives for home electrification and energy efficiency upgrades. The outreach program will target a range of energy consumers that will benefit from the transition to clean energy, including, homeowners, renters, and energy contractors. Outreach materials will leverage existing resources, such as Rewiring America’s electrification savings calculator, and will be offered in multiple languages to increase equitable electrification in diverse communities. (Award amount: $2,646,050) 

Other awards announced today include:   

  • Clark County, NV ($844,640)  
  • Dakota County, NE ($75,750)  
  • City of Elk Grove, CA ($201,410)  
  • City of Evansville, IN ($172,120)  
  • City of Fayetteville, NC ($245,040)  
  • City of Oak Creek, WI ($76,280)  
  • City of Palm Desert, CA ($118,040)  
  • Sarasota County, FL ($309,280) 
  • State of New Jersey ($2,414,180) 
  • State of Tennessee ($2,484,530) 

View the complete list of projects to date on our website.  

As part of extensive technical assistance offerings available to states, local governments, and Tribes, DOE is also announcing the first round of host institutions for the Community Energy Fellowship Program. The program matches recent graduates and mid-career clean energy professionals with eligible local and Tribal governments. Fellows will support EECBG projects and accelerate the national transition to resilient and affordable clean energy. Fellows are placed in 32 communities, including Harris County, Texas, Howard and Baltimore Counties in Maryland, and the Burns Paiute Tribe in Oregon.  

The EECBG Program application deadline for eligible local governments is October 31, 2024, and May 31, 2025, for Tribes. Local governments and Tribes can apply for either traditional grants or vouchers for equipment rebates and/or technical assistance. For more information, visit the EECBG Program website.  

Official news published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/biden-harris-administration-announces-more-12-million-support-local-projects-save-energy

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