Finance Globe

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States Awarded Recovery Act Funds for Energy Program

On Monday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Michigan was awarded $32 million and Iowa received $16 million in Recovery Act funding to go towards energy projects.

Then ten states on Wednesday were awarded a total of more than $204 million to fund energy programs: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington.

“This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help to put Americans back to work and move us toward energy independence," said DOE Secretary Stephen Chu. "It reflects our commitment to support innovative state and local strategies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy while insisting that taxpayer dollars be spent responsibly."

Those states were awarded 40% of their total funding for the State Energy Program authorized under the Obama administration's stimulus package. Each state was awarded 10% initially to support planning activities. The remaining 50% of funds will be available once states meet reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act.

DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and national levels to ensure transparancy and accountability as promised by the Obama adminstration for all Recovery Act projects.

Under the Recovery Act, DOE expanded the types of activities eligible for State Energy Program funding, which include energy audits, building retrofits, education and training efforts, transportation programs to increase the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, and new financing mechanisms to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.

The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program. States use these grants at the state and local level to create green jobs, address state energy priorities, and to adopt emerging technologies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

A run-down of state monetary awards and spending plans thus far:

Arizona was awarded $22.2 million and plans to use the funding for a number of programs to advance energy efficiency, and investing in and supporting renewable energy manufacturers and products within the state. Arizona also plans to establish a revolving loan program to help business owners improve the energy efficiency of their buildings, and to provide loans to the manufacturers of renewable energy or energy efficiency equipment and technologies. Arizona will receive an additional $27 million upon showing success of the state's plan, for a total of $55 million.

Connecticut
received $15.4 million and plans to use the funds to provide inexpensive in-home energy audits to help improve energy efficiency and lower energy bills for consumers. Energy specialist will check homes for leaks and drafts, replace standard bulbs in the home with energy-efficient bulbs, check insulation and appliances, and provide and install devices to conserve water. The state also plans to invest in a variety of technologies, including alternative-fuel vehicles. Once the state's program proves to be successful, Connecticut will receive the remaining $19 million for a total of $38 million.

Florida
received $50.4 million and plans to use the funds to encourage the production, availability, and use of renewable energy and alternative fuels. Loan and grant programs will be created to promote investment and commercialization of various energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Florida is due another $63 million upon the success of its plan, for a total of $126 million.

Idaho
was awarded $11.4 million and plans to launch a number of programs to promote renewable energy. Two initiatives encourage state schools to reduce energy costs. The state plans to create new zoning regulations in order to draw in renewable energy developers to build new projects in the state. Once Idaho proves the success of its plan it will receive another $14 million for a total of $28 million.

Iowa
was awarded $16 million and will expand an existing program that is focused on increasing energy efficiency. The state's plan provides for workforce training and public information projects, with the goal of increasing the state’s capacity for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. Iowa plans to make grants of up to $100,000 to public, private and non-profit entities for energy training across the state. Once the success of the plan is demonstrated, Iowa will receive an additional $24 million for a total of $40 million.

Kansas
received $15.3 million and plans to use funding to improve energy efficiency for commercial buildings and individual home owners, develop a new utility rate pricing plan, and to provide financing options for investing in renewable energy. Kansas will promote an energy audit rebate plan for home owners and small business owners, and invest in the energy audit industry by "developing a robust work force of energy auditors," providing scholarships for additional professional training, and subsidizing expensive technical audit equipment. Kansas will receive more than $19 million in additional funding once it demonstrates the success of its plan for a total of more than $38 million.

Michigan
received over $32 million to implement its plan to reduce energy consumption by 20% in the next three years, establish green communities, create markets for renewable energy systems, and create sustainable jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors. More than $41 million additional will be awarded upon demonstrating success of the program for a total of over $82 million.

Minnesota
was awarded $21.7 million and plans to use the funding to improve energy efficiency in residences and commercial and government buildings, and to increase the production of renewable energy in the state. Grants will be awarded to businesses of all sizes for improving energy efficiency. More than an additional $27 million will be awarded once Minnesota's plan proves successful for a total of $54 million.

South Carolina
received $20.2 million. Funding is to be used for grants and loans to reduce taxpayer burden by improving the energy efficiency in various public buildings and to provide financial assistance to industrial, commerical, and small business entities to support energy efficiency and renewable energy products, and to promote SEP education and training programs. South Carolina will receive more than $25 million additional funding upon success of its plan for a total of over $50 million.

South Dakota
was awarded $9.5 million and plans to use the funding to provide revolving energy loans to state institutions, and to improve the energy efficiency of government buildings, thereby reducing costs to state taxpayers. After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, South Dakota will be awarded more than $11 million in additional funding for a total of more $23 million.

Utah
was awarded $14.1 million and plans to use funds to improve the energy efficiency of homes, businesses, schools, and government buildings. The state will provide financial incentives to low-income housing developments, and commerical and government building that upgrade their energy efficiency. Some of the funding will go towards researching potential renewable energy resources in the state. Utah will receive another $17 million after proving their plan successful, for total of more than $35 million.

Washington State
received $24.3 million and plans to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings, provide grants and loans for the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy, developing a clean energy policy, and promoting energy assessments in the agriculture sector. Washington State will receive an additiaonl $30 million in funding once its plan has demonstrated success, for a total of over $60 million.





Source:
U.S. Department of Energy
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Monday, 19 August 2019

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