“This funding will allow states across the country to make major investments in energy solutions that will strengthen America’s economy and create jobs at the local level,” said Secretary Chu. “It will also promote some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies we have – energy efficiency and conservation – which can be deployed immediately. Local communities can now make strategic investments to help meet the nation’s long term clean energy and climate goals.”

States receiving funding today include: Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

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

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 installation of renewable energy technologies on municipal buildings.

Transparency and accountability are important priorities for the EECBG program and all Recovery Act projects. All grantees have specific measures they must take before spending the full amount of awarded funding, such as ensuring oversight and transparency, submitting a conservation strategy to the DOE, and complying with environmental regulations.

Throughout the program’s implementation, DOE will provide oversight at the local, state, and tribal level, while emphasizing the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies. Communities will be required to report regularly to DOE on the progress they have made toward successfully completing projects and reaching program goals.

The following states are receiving their state-level EECBG awards:

DELAWARE – $9,593,500 awarded:

Delaware will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to reduce fossil fuel emissions, decrease overall energy use, and improve energy efficiency statewide. Funding will be administered by the state’s Energy Office, which will use both population-based formulas and a competitive process to award grants to local cities and counties in the state. Delaware’s Energy Office will also use EECBG funds to make a variety of energy efficiency upgrades to state facilities, including the replacement of existing electric boilers and cooling tower systems. Overall, the activities funded by these Recovery Act award will lead to a significant reduction in Delaware’s energy use and associated costs, and create or save more than 100 jobs statewide.

HAWAII – $9,593,500 awarded:

Hawaii will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to enhance energy efficiency in the buildings sector and deploy renewable energy technologies in state buildings. Projects funded with this award will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, increase Hawaii’s energy security, and reduce fossil fuel emissions, while creating green jobs statewide. Specifically, Hawaii will focus on bringing the state’s existing building portfolio up to Energy Star standards. The Energy Star buildings program, established by EPA, tracks buildings’ energy efficiency performance and energy use per sq. foot against a national standard. Buildings are recognized as meeting Energy Star standards if they are in the top 25% of building performance. Nationally the buildings sector accounts for about 70% of energy use, so the state expects this effort will substantially reduce its energy consumption. Recovery Act funding will also be used to install photovoltaic solar energy systems on state office buildings in downtown Honolulu.

IOWA – $9,593,500 awarded:

Iowa will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy across the state’s economic sectors. These projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and save or create more than 100 green jobs. The state will pass along 60% of its funds to local governments that were not eligible for direct EECBG grants and the remaining 40% of funds will be made available for competitive awards to all cities and counties. The competitive selection process will favor highly-leveraged projects and regional collaboration.

The Iowa Office of Energy Independence (OEI) will administer the EECBG program, including assisting potential applicants in determining which kinds of proposals are allowable and feasible and how to find additional funding resources to leverage. Funds will be provided for a wide range of activities, including agricultural building energy audits, financial incentive programs, energy efficiency retrofits, transportation programs, building codes and inspections, energy distribution technologies, reduction and capture of methane and greenhouse gases, traffic signals and street lighting, and renewable energy technologies on government buildings. These Recovery Act-funded activities will directly support the renewable energy and energy efficiency goals necessary to meet Iowa’s 2025 target for energy independence.

INDIANA – $14,052,400 awarded:

Indiana will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to help the state’s local communities, small businesses, non-profits, and others reduce their energy consumption, leading to significant cost savings and environmental benefits. Local cities and counties eligible for funding can use funding for traffic light upgrades and energy efficiency retrofits of local government buildings and facilities. These projects will create and retain jobs locally, while improving energy efficiency in the public sector and lowering fossil fuel emissions. In the long-term, these activities will also save cities and counties money by cutting energy costs, allowing them to direct funds to other projects that will help spur economic recovery. The EECBG program will be administered through the Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED) and awards will be made through a competitive process.

OED will also use EECBG funds to establish a loan program for small businesses, non-profits, health care institutions and institutions of higher education to finance energy efficiency upgrades to their existing buildings. The goal of the loan program will be to decrease total energy usage and increase the energy efficiency across the state’s public and private sectors. Additional Recovery Act funding will support the creation of an energy efficiency central database. This database will help the state and its citizens prepare for possible future legislation involving national renewable portfolio standards or limits on carbon emissions. Indiana’s Recovery Act-funded projects will lead to substantial energy and cost savings, and save or create nearly 200 jobs statewide.

MASSACHUSETTS – $14,752,100 awarded:

Massachusetts will use its Recovery Act EECBG funds to advance efficiency and conservation goals at the community level. To maximize the overall return on these investments, the commonwealth will leverage private capital and expertise from local and non-local partners. The majority of Massachusetts’ EECBG allocation, administered by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), will be passed along to cities and counties with populations less than 35,000.