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

August 26, 2009

DOE Awards $51 Million to Alaska, New Jersey, and Guam

DOE delivered more than $51 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds on August 25 to Guam and the states of Alaska and New Jersey for 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 carbon pollution. The funds will support rebates and other financial incentives; renewable energy pilot programs; public education efforts; new lighting standards; energy audits; and energy efficiency retrofits in schools, commercial buildings, industrial sites, large local facilities, multi-building state institutions, and rural communities.

For example, New Jersey will expand its existing Clean Energy Program, which is administered through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. With the broader program, the state will be able to offer energy efficiency support to consumers who are not currently eligible for funds. Alaska, meanwhile, will establish a Residential Renewable Energy Rebate Program to provide rebates of up to $3,750 per household when homeowners install specific renewable energy systems on their homes. The state will also help communities develop pilot projects to install systems that produce both heat and electricity from renewable energy.

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 Guam and New Jersey, 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; Alaska is receiving the full 50% now. 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 funding and energy plans for Alaska, New Jersey, and Guam in the DOE press release, and see also the State Energy Program Web site.