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

January 06, 2010

New Bill Funds Transit Projects, Home Retrofits, and Global Clean Energy

President Obama signed the fiscal year (FY) 2010 appropriations bill for a number of federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Labor, on December 16, 2009. The DOT funding includes $2.5 billion for high-speed rail projects and intercity passenger rail projects. It also includes $8.3 billion in FY 2010 spending for transit formula grants, which support investments in transit systems throughout the country. In addition, the bill includes $75 million in grants for public transit agencies to make capital investments that reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission of their transit systems, such as buying more fuel-efficient buses or powering their transit systems with renewable energy.

As part of the funding for HUD, the funding bill includes $50 million for an Energy Innovation Fund, which will enable the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the new Office of Sustainability to speed innovations in the residential energy efficiency. The fund is also designed to help create a market for home energy efficiency retrofits. Half of the funding is designated for an Energy Efficient Mortgage Innovation pilot program, directed at the single-family housing market, and the other half will support a pilot program directed at the multifamily housing market. To help provide labor for those programs and other clean energy efforts, the Labor Department will receive $40 million to prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Last but not least, the bill provides funding for international efforts, including $300 million for a U.S. contribution to the World Bank's Clean Technology Fund, which is primarily focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The bill also provides $1.26 billion for a variety of international programs related to climate change and the environment, of which $108.5 million will go toward clean energy programs, as specified in the conference report for the bill. The bill stipulates that at least $10 million of that funding will support microfinance renewable energy programs, which help finance renewable energy systems for the poor. See the White House press release on the signing; pages 23-24, 29, 30, 56, 194, and 364-366 of the legislation, H.R. 3288 (PDF 1.0 MB); and page 31 of the international section of the conference report (PDF 4.6 MB). Download Adobe Reader.