This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 22, 2009

DOE Awards $162 Million for Clean Energy in Six States and Puerto Rico

DOE awarded $162 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds on July 20 to Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Under DOE's State Energy Program (SEP), 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. The funds will support loan, grant, and rebate programs; capital financing programs; education and training efforts; energy audits; building retrofits; building energy code upgrades; coupons for purchases of Energy Star appliances; and partial funding for alternative-fueled vehicles and fueling stations.

For example, Louisiana 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 (light-emitting diode) traffic lights and solar street lighting across the state. Meanwhile, Colorado will offer access to low-cost capital financing for clean energy projects in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The state will also promote greater energy efficiency in new and existing homes with programs such as a "whole house tune-up" that bundles efficiency incentives for homes.

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 six states and Puerto Rico, 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 they 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.