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Energy Efficiency And Conservation Block Grant Program

Informative article on: Energy Efficiency And Conservation Block Grant Program
The United States Government enacted into legislation the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to reduce our dependence on foreign energy. Included in that is The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program that is intended to fund eligible entities to implement viable options within their communities. It used the Community Development Block Grant program as its model. The main objective is to help United States governing bodies (cities, counties, states, territories and Indian tribes) to develop and implement energy efficiency in an effort towards the conservation of energy.

The Purpose of the EECBG Program

According to the wording of the Act, the actual purpose is to help those eligible entities implement energy efficiency and conservation plans while stimulating the economy by providing new jobs. The focus is on:

• Reducing fossil fuel emissions that are created as a result of certain activities within jurisdictions of entities that are eligible;
• Reducing total energy usage;
• Improving energy efficiency in the building, transportation and other specified sectors.

In simple terms, the federal government has set aside a specific amount of money to fund projects on a local level that will begin affecting changes with the intent of reducing fossil fuel emissions by reducing the total energy used. In order to be eligible for the Block Grant Program, these changes are to be used to improve energy efficiency in transportation, building and other sectors as approved by the government.

Use of Funds in the EECBG Program

The total amount allocated to this program is $3.2 billion of which the largest portion will be used for formula and competitive grants. The remainder of funds can be allocated to make available a group of technical aid to local, state, and tribal grantees. A formula grant needs to follow a specific formula that was set up when instituting the program and takes into consideration the demographics of the locality applying for a grant. Competitive grants refer to proposals set up by specific entities applying for the grant, and then proposals are ranked in relation to their adherence to the criteria set forth in the EECBG Program. Funds can be used for the following activities:

• Developing energy efficiency and a strategy for conservation
• Weatherization and energy audits of buildings, including retrofits
• Energy efficiency financial incentive programs
• Programs for transportation that conserve energy
• Development, implementation and inspection for building codes
• Energy technologies for distributed energy
• Conservation of materials including recycling and reduction
• Reduction of greenhouse gasses generated by waste sites and landfills
• Installing of energy efficient street lightin and traffic signals
• Installing renewable energy on government buildings
• Other activities as deemed appropriate by the Dept of Energy

To sum it up, the federal government has set aside more than three billion dollars to implement energy efficiency programs within communities around the United States. Eligible groups may apply for funding on projects if they meet specific criteria as set froth in the EECBG Program. Grants are awarded based on eligibility, meeting specified requirements and availability of funds.