March 31, 2009

Delegation Announces $14.5 Million in Federal Funding for Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Projects

Washington, DC – Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation today announced that communities throughout the state will receive over $14.5 million in flexible federal funding to improve energy efficiency in building and transportation projects. Funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program passed as part of the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The federal aid may be used by states, cities, towns, and tribes for a host of energy saving activities, such as consumer and business energy audits; grants to nonprofits to conduct energy efficient retrofits; transportation improvements that promote energy conservation; and installation of renewable energy technologies, such as solar panels, on government buildings.

This federal funding is in addition to the $44 million released earlier this month for the State Energy Program (SEP) and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

“Energy is the lifeblood of our economy, and these federal dollars offer our cities and towns the chance to make significant and strategic investments in energy efficiency efforts that will put people to work, bolster the economy, and protect our environment. This is a flexible source of funding that should be spent on energy saving measures that will cut taxpayers’ energy bills and make our communities more energy efficient,” said Sen. Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy.

“A new green economy beckons us – but we must invest today to create the jobs and build the infrastructure we’ll need to reach it,” said Sen. Whitehouse, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Investing in energy efficiency and conservation is the best and most cost effective way to put people back to work and lower their energy bills at the same time.”

“Creating a new energy economy is one of the central pieces of the federal recovery package. These funds are an investment that will help to address some of the structural energy and conservation measures we must pursue to advance our goal of energy independence for the long-term. In the near-term, this aid will create green construction jobs in Rhode Island. Additionally, these funds will go directly to cities and towns, enabling communities to seek innovative energy efficiency initiatives and solutions,” said Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

“I am proud to have worked to secure funding for these energy efficiency programs including local government energy efficiency block grants and transportation projects that conserve energy, among others, in this reinvestment bill,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, a founding member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. “Investing in green energy now will only make our nation more competitive, cleaner, and safer for the future.”

The following communities in Rhode Island will receive federal EECBG funding:

Rhode Island State Energy Office: $9,593,500*
Coventry: $ 134,000
Cranston: $761,600
Cumberland: $138,100
East Providence: $207,400
North Providence: $ 131,900
Pawtucket: $660,500
Providence: $1,759,300
Warwick: $835,200
West Warwick: $118,400
Woonsocket: $181,400
Narragansett Tribe: $77,900
TOTAL: $14,521,300

* Each state must pass not less than 60% of its allocation on to cities and counties within the state that are ineligible for direct formula grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Each state decides how to award these sub-grants.

To ensure accountability, the Department of Energy will provide guidance to grant recipients and require them to report on the number of jobs created or retained, energy saved, renewable energy capacity installed, greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and funds leveraged. Funding is based on a formula that accounts for population and energy use.


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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921