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

November 04, 2009

DOE Delivers $38 Million to Four States for Clean Energy

Aerial photo of a helicopter carrying a large transmission tower over a lake, with a snow-covered mountain in the background.

Alaska's energy dependence was demonstrated dramatically last year, when an avalanche cut Juneau's supply of hydropower. The local utility employed helicopters to deliver new transmission towers for the power line. Enlarge this photo.
Credit: AELP

DOE delivered more than $38 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds on November 3 to four states to support energy efficiency and conservation activities. Under DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, the recipients will implement programs that lower energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and create green jobs locally. States receiving funding are Alaska, Kansas, Utah, and West Virginia.

The awards to the state energy offices will be used to support their energy efficiency priorities, along with funding local conservation projects in smaller cities and counties. At least 60% of each award will be passed through to local cities and counties not eligible for direct EECBG awards from DOE. The EECBG Program was funded for the first time by the Recovery Act and provides formula grants to states, cities, counties, territories, and federally-recognized Indian tribes nationwide to implement local energy efficiency projects.

Projects eligible for support include the development of an energy efficiency and conservation strategy, energy efficiency audits and retrofits, transportation programs, the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the installation of renewable energy technologies on municipal buildings. For example, Alaska will use a portion of its funding to promote energy efficiency in local communities that are fighting high power costs. The state has more than 180 villages that are only accessible by water or air and have to operate independent, stand-alone electric grids. And Kansas will encourage local communities to install renewable energy generating systems by offering competitive grants for up to 25% of the cost. See the DOE press release and the EECBG Program Web site.