The US Department of Energy has approved 16 State Energy Program spending plans, authorized as part of the federal economic stimulus package signed into law in February. With the approval of these plans, 16 of the nation’s State Energy Offices are receiving $508 million, representing 50% of full program funding. Remaining funding will come as states implement their programs and deliver results.
The 16 state plans approved so far include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. The DOE continues to review State Energy Program spending plans from 39 other states and US territories. Action on the plans is expected by the end of July.
These energy plans fulfill state obligations under the federal State Energy Program, one of a number of stimulus-funded programs operated by the 56 State and Territory Energy Offices. Total stimulus funding for the State Energy Program is $3.1 billion. The State Energy Program is a key part of the Obama Administration’s national strategy to support green job growth, while making an historic investment in economically viable clean energy projects.
“This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence,” said DOE Secretary Steven 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.”
The National Association of State Energy Officials, based in Alexandria, Virginia, represents the State and Territory Energy Offices. NASEO members, typically designated by governors, are leading state efforts to direct, invest, and manage energy spending to maximize energy savings, private sector cost-share, and economic benefits, including jobs. The energy offices manage more than $3 billion of state funds annually in addition to the federal stimulus funding.
Other federal energy spending under the stimulus plan includes $3.2 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which is directed to about 1,700 cities, counties, local governments and states, and 510 tribes; $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income people reduce their energy bills by making homes more energy efficient; $4.4 billion for utilities and others involved in development of a national “smart grid” for electricity transmission, delivery, and use; and, $300 million for Energy Star appliance rebates to consumers.
To learn more about funding plans and programs in each state, contact specific State Energy Offices. A complete list of State Energy Offices is accessible at http://naseo.org/members/states.