Energy programs tap federal stimulus dollars
More than a billion dollars in federal stimulus funding for energy efficiency and other green projects and programs will begin to flow from the federal government to the states in a matter of weeks, reports the Alexandria, Va.-based National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). NASEO expects the pace of spending to accelerate in the next several months as detailed funding plans are reviewed and approved by the Department of Energy.
The Stimulus Plan, passed in February, dedicates $16 billion in targeted clean energy and energy efficiency spending, including:
* $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program for energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative transportation programs;
* $3.2 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which is directed to U.S. cities, local governments and states;
* $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income residents reduce their energy bills by making homes more energy efficient;
* $4.4 billion for utilities and others involved in developing a national “smart grid” for electricity transmission delivery and use; and
* $300 million for state energy offices to deliver Energy Star appliance rebates for consumers across every state.
The Stimulus Plan also includes funds for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment; worker training for green jobs; alternative vehicles; and energy retrofits of federal buildings. Those activities will be carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with state energy offices, local governments, state research and technology institutions, regional energy efficiency organizations and others.
State energy offices are directly investing and managing approximately $3.8 billion of energy spending through the State Energy Program, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program and Energy Star appliance rebates to consumers.
To learn more about specific funding plans and programs in each state, contact specific state energy offices. A complete list of state energy offices is accessible at http://naseo.org/members/states.
“Programs conceived and tested at the state level have become the foundation of national efforts to advance key energy goals,” says David Terry, executive director of the National Association of State Energy Officials. For more information, go to: http://www.naseo.org/about/index.html.