This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE Awards $153 Million to Six States and Virgin Islands for Clean Energy
DOE delivered more than $153 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds on July 6 to Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Under DOE's State Energy Program, states and territories have proposed plans that prioritize energy savings, create or retain jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The funds will support loan and rebate programs, education and training efforts, energy audits, building retrofits, smart meter installations, renewable energy projects, and incentives for hybrid and alternative-fueled vehicles.
For example, New York, which has received $49.2 million, will spend the funds on programs that will speed the introduction of alternative-fuel vehicles into New York communities, boost the energy efficiency of buildings across the state, increase compliance with the state's energy codes, and expand the use of solar power. In addition, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Montana will each direct at least a portion of their funds toward improving the energy efficiency of state-owned buildings. Such efforts not only save energy, but also reduce each state's spending on energy, freeing up state funds for more productive purposes.
The funds are part of the Obama Administration's national strategy to support job growth while making a historic down payment on clean energy. The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program, giving priority to achieving national goals of energy independence while helping to stimulate local economies. For the states and territories, the new funds represent 40% of the State Energy Program funds available to them under the Recovery Act, following an initial 10% of the funds that were awarded to support planning activities. The second half of the funds will be released when the states meet the reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act. See the state-by-state list of funding and energy plans in the DOE press release, and see also the State Energy Program Web site.