US Announces Funding for Community-Centered Clean Energy Programs

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released guidance for state, local, and tribal governments to apply for funding through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program.

This program has opened applications for $430 million in formula grant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aimed at supporting clean energy projects and programs in local communities across the country.

States and territories must submit their applications by July 31, 2023. Local and tribal governments must submit the applications by January 21, 2024.

The EECBG Program is a funding program provided by DOE to support community-based clean energy initiatives. Entities such as states, territories, tribal governments, and local governments are eligible to apply for funding under the program.

These entities are encouraged to use the funding in a way that maximizes benefits for their population, leverages other sources of financing or funding, and yields maximum energy and emission reductions over time.

Under the EECBG Program, entities can develop various initiatives and projects that align with one or more of the program’s purposes.

These include developing and implementing an energy efficiency and conservation strategy, retaining technical consultant services to assist with the strategy, conducting energy audits, establishing financial incentives for energy efficiency improvements, providing grants for energy efficiency retrofits, developing and implementing energy efficiency and conservation programs for buildings and facilities, and other activities related to energy conservation and efficiency.

DOE also released a Request for Information seeking input on nearly $9 billion for the Home Energy Rebate Program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act that will provide funding to help Americans cut energy costs in their homes through energy efficiency and electrification of home appliances and equipment.

According to a report published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently, more American households have adopted solar in the past 11 years, bringing down the median household income for solar adopters by 14% to $110,000/year in 2021 compared to 2010.

The Biden administration announced $56 million in funding alongside a new set of initiatives to augment the innovation in solar manufacturing and recycling to make energy more cost-effective and create more jobs.