Biden-Harris Administration Announces More than $18 Million to Support Clean Energy Projects in 24 States and Local Governments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $18.5 million to four states and 20 local governments for the next round of formula grants through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. These projects, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help advance state and local governments efforts to improve energy efficiency, reduce climate pollution, and lower overall energy use.  

“No one knows communities’ energy improvement needs better than the state and local governments, and the Biden-Harris Administration is helping support these ongoing efforts for a clean energy future for all,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These investments from the EECBG Program put state and local governments in the driver’s seat to reduce emissions, increase climate resiliency, and strengthen communities for generations to come.” 

This is the seventh tranche of formula awards granted to EECBG Program eligible entities. Since the first awards were announced in October 2023, the program has awarded nearly $150 million to 175 communities. Overall, the program provides more than $430 million in formula grant funding to 2,708 states, territories, local governments, and Tribes. Entities have the option to choose activities from 14 eligible categories of clean energy projects and programs that fulfill their clean energy objectives. This program also advances the President’s Justice40 Initiative that sets a goal to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 

Governments receiving awards this month will use program funds to conduct energy assessments and efficiency upgrades at community centers and schools, install solar panels on municipal facilities, develop climate and energy plans, advance local recycling initiatives, launch building electrification campaigns for individual households, and more.    

Learn more about what grantees in this tranche are doing with their funds below and on our website. 

California will advance statewide public and private building decarbonization through the new Local Government Building Decarbonization Challenge (LGBDC). Buildings represent a quarter of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Local action in this sector is essential to meeting the state’s goal to reduce emissions 85% by 2045 from 1990 levels. Through LGBDC, local governments can pursue diverse projects, such as building decarbonization planning, developing stronger building energy codes, and creating energy efficiency and electrification workforce development programs. Communities can also form a consortium to tackle regional decarbonization goals. The state will prioritize funding for projects that provide tangible benefits to households that are overburdened by climate pollution. (Award amount: $4,522,300) 

Cobb County, GA will purchase equipment to support the construction of a Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) facility. This recycling drop-off facility aims to improve environmental health by diverting waste and other hard-to-recycle items from landfills and water systems. The county will also develop a Sustainability Action Plan to identify opportunities and risks related to decarbonization and other sustainability concepts. Remaining funds will be used to replace 11 outdated public electric vehicle chargers with more efficient models and purchase an additional seven solar-powered off-grid charging stations to support the county’s fleet electrification efforts. These latter two activities will follow EECBG Program Blueprints 4A: Electric Vehicles and Fleet Electrification and 4B. EV Charging Infrastructure for the Community. (Award amount: $557,290) 

Dane County, WI will launch a building electrification campaign to help disadvantaged communities access incentives for energy efficiency upgrades and home electrification. First, the county will fund and train staff members at three community-based organizations to act as navigators for state and federal incentives for home electrification. The organizations will then leverage their networks to engage approximately 300 disadvantaged households and facilitate participation in energy efficiency and electrification programs. Weaving together key activities from EECBG Program Blueprint 2C: Building Electrification Campaign and Blueprint 6: Workforce Development, this campaign aims to reduce energy burdens for households that need it most while simultaneously boosting clean energy industry knowledge within the local workforce. (Award amount: $266,890) 

New Hampshire will create the Municipal Solar Grant Program for small and disadvantaged local governments to purchase and install solar photovoltaic panels for municipal facilities. The program will offer competitive grants to small towns and counties for solar projects that do not exceed 60 kW and follow EECBG Program Blueprint 3A: Solar and Storage. The program will prioritize disadvantaged municipalities through a two-tiered grant system. In tier 1, over $1 million will be available for disadvantaged communities to directly purchase solar systems. Tier 2 will be open to all other municipalities. By encouraging direct ownership, the state aims to help local governments maximize energy savings, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, lower operating costs, and pass on the benefits of affordable solar energy to municipal taxpayers. (Award amount: $1,641,260) 

Pennsylvania will establish the Municipal Opportunities for Retrofits and Energy Efficiency (MORE) Program, which will help local governments access capital for impactful, long-term clean energy and energy efficiency projects via direct grants and loans. With MORE Grants, disadvantaged and financially distressed local governments can pursue energy assessments and project design to develop their MORE Loan application. Municipalities can then stretch EECBG Program dollars further and access MORE Loans for capital-intensive retrofits and renewable energy projects. Local governments can also use their MORE Grant to buy-down the interest rate when borrowing a MORE Loan, further promoting equitable access to financing. The program will advance Pennsylvania’s goal to reduce emissions 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels. MORE Loans will be augmented with funds Pennsylvania received from the DOE Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program. (Award amount: $3,021,720) 

Philadelphia, PA will conduct four activities to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. First, the city will design a Cool Roofs Program to help protect residents from extreme heat and reduce energy costs. The city will build out the program by testing a pilot in one heat-island affected community and by conducting research and stakeholder interviews with other cities with similar initiatives. Second, Philadelphia will develop a comprehensive strategy to strengthen the city’s building decarbonization workforce. Third, the city will partner with trusted grassroots organizations to promote public education on energy efficiency and clean energy technologies in energy-burdened communities. This initiative will certify “Energy Ambassadors” to engage youth and utilize a Mobile Energy Center to reach vulnerable residents. Fourth, the city will enhance building energy management in over 200 School District of Philadelphia buildings. Energy management enhancements will support utility management, renewable electricity sourcing, and improved data management to identify potential projects and track savings. (Award amount: $1,316,810) 

Prince George’s County, MD will advance its Climate Action Plan through two activities.  First, the county will develop a residential rooftop solar incentive program that provides rebates ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 to 30 households. To ensure these funds reach residents that have historically lacked access to solar energy systems, the county will create a targeted outreach and marketing campaign. Second, the county will benchmark 40 county buildings and complete investment grade energy assessments on priority facilities using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager online tool. This project will follow key activities from EECBG Program Blueprint 2A: Energy Audits and Building Upgrades. (Award amount: $681,220) 

San Antonio, TX will launch three initiatives for improving the energy efficiency of transportation across the city. First, the city will provide $1,000 point-of-sale rebates to 170 low-income residents to purchase e-bikes at local bike stores. Second, they will also develop an Energy Master Plan for the San Antonio International Airport. Finally, San Antonio’s housing authority will install EV chargers at six multifamily buildings in disadvantaged communities, increasing equitable access to electric vehicles. The EV charging program will follow EECBG Program Blueprint 4B: EV Charging Infrastructure for the Community. (Award amount: $1,220,460) 

Other awards announced today include:   

  • Arlington County, VA ($267,820)  
  • City of Arlington, TX ($369,400)  
  • City of Beaumont, TX ($168,420)  
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough, AK ($77,080)  
  • Frederick County, MD ($81,250)  
  • City of Grand Rapids, MI ($235,280)  
  • City of Manchester, NH ($163,660)  
  • City of Marlborough, MA ($76,570)  
  • City of Miramar, FL ($173,180)  
  • Montgomery County, PA ($594,260)  
  • New Castle County, DE ($403,310)   
  • Somerset County, ME ($76,720)  
  • City of Sun Prairie, WI ($76,190)  
  • City of Tampa, FL ($413,280)  
  • Tarrant County, TX ($306,040) 
  • State of Utah ($1,811,730)    

DOE offers extensive technical assistance to support EECBG Program grants, including Blueprints and Blueprint Cohorts. Blueprints provide thirteen guides to implementing eligible and high-impact clean energy and energy efficiency projects and programs. Blueprint Cohorts offer EECBG Program-eligible communities the opportunity to gain insights from industry experts and other participating peers. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has been selected to run the next phase of Blueprint Cohorts, in partnership with nine community-based organizations. Through training sessions, interactive workshops, and practical guides, ACEEE and its partners will help grantees maximize project impact. Learn more about this new partnership and how technical assistance helps grantees catalyze the impact of federal dollars. 

The EECBG Program application deadline for eligible local governments is October 31, 2024, and May 31, 2025, for Tribes. Local governments and Tribes can apply for either traditional grants or vouchers for equipment rebates and/or technical assistance. For more information, visit the EECBG Program website.  

 

Originally published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/biden-harris-administration-announces-more-18-million-support-clean-energy-projects-24

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