FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM
As a part of the Energy Independence and Security Act passed on December 19, 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy was given the authority to administer the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The purpose of this money is to reduce fossil fuel emissions and improve energy efficiency through grants that will fund local initiatives, including building and home energy conservation programs, energy audits, fuel conservation programs, building retrofits to increase energy efficiency, “smart growth” planning and zoning, and alternative energy programs.
Pursuant to the recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, more commonly referred to as the economic stimulus package, the EECBG program has received $3.2 billion dollars to be awarded to eligible cities. Of that amount, 68 percent would flow to cities and counties, while 28 percent would go to the states. Cities over 35,000 in population must apply directly to the U.S. Department of Energy for grants; a city under 35,000 must apply to the state for funding under the program (each state must pass through to local governments at least 60 percent of its share of funding). In Texas, the State Energy Conservation Office will be administering the program but has not yet developed a method to make the funding available.
A city with more than 35,000 inhabitants must register and apply for EECBG funds by using the FedConnect web portal. More information on using FedConnect can be found at: https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/PublicPages/FedConnect_Ready_Set_Go.pdf.