WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced today that applications are open for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Competitive Program. The EECBG Competitive Program will award $8.8 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to teams of local governments and state-recognized Tribes that are ineligible for the program’s formula grant. Grantees will be able to use the funds to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and reduce overall energy use. Through the EECBG Program, DOE will invest in communities representing over 250 million Americans to help accelerate the transition to a clean energy future.
“For many families, the cost of energy is a burden they live with every day; getting federal assistance directly to their communities is the best way to transform those challenges into opportunities for cheaper, cleaner power,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s funding will help lower utility costs, cut emissions, and create healthier environments for families in every corner of the country.”
“Lots of families in my blue-collar neighborhood would love to reduce their energy bills, but can’t afford the up-front costs of investing in better insulation, new windows, or a more efficient boiler,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (OR). “The EECBG program offers an accessible opportunity for Oregon communities to efficiently and effectively transition to clean energy—putting more money in Oregon families’ pockets, and a lot less pollution in our skies fueling catastrophic wildfires, droughts, and other disasters.”
“Local governments have an opportunity to lead in the clean energy transition by electrifying their buildings and vehicle fleets and by adopting highly efficient and clean energy technologies. These efforts have a real impact on people’s everyday lives by lowering utility costs, reducing pollution, and creating new jobs,” said U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM), founder and co-chair of the Electrification Caucus.
“We have an urgent responsibility to invest in energy efficient infrastructure that’s both sustainable and cost-effective,” said Representative Greg Stanton (AZ-4). “This historic funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gives local governments the resources to spur community-level clean energy projects—and I’m proud to lead the bipartisan effort in Congress to reauthorize this critical program for years to come.”
Through DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs, the EECBG Competitive Program will give often-left-behind communities the boost they need to help meet net-zero energy goals, while attaining increased energy savings, creating clean energy jobs, and delivering targeted benefits to disadvantaged communities. Local governments and Tribes are encouraged to team up and apply for the Competitive Program in groups to lower administrative burdens and maximize the impact of program funds. DOE expects to make approximately 10-20 awards ranging from $200,000 to $2 million, serving 20-50 communities. DOE is directed by statute to give priority to applications from states and territories with fewer than 2 million residents and to applications that propose projects that would result in significant energy efficiency improvements or reductions in fossil fuel use.
The EECBG Program provides communities with flexible funding for a variety of projects, such as developing regional clean energy strategic plans, creating investments in distributed energy technologies, or launching regional weatherization-based workforce development programs. DOE will also provide communities with access to technical assistance, peer-to-peer sharing, and on-the-ground support. Local governments and state-recognized Tribes interested in applying for the EECBG Competitive Program will have until June 5, 2023, to submit a concept paper featuring a project proposal.
DOE will host webinars to provide more information about the Competitive Program on Tuesday, April 18th at 2pm ET and on Monday, May 15th at 2pm ET.
For more information on the application process, visit the EECBG Program website.
Originally published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/biden-harris-administration-announces-88-million-support-local-governments-their-clean