U.S. DOE offering $8.8 million in clean energy grants

Published on April 07, 2023 by Liz Carey

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would be taking applications for $8.8 million in grants to help local governments reach their clean energy goals.

The grants, part of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Black Grant (EECBG) Competitive Program, would provide local governments and state-recognized Tribes that are ineligible for the program’s formula grants to use funds for programs that reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency or reduce energy use.

“For many families, the cost of energy is a burden they live with every day; getting federal assistance directly to their communities is the best way to transform those challenges into opportunities for cheaper, cleaner power,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said. “Today’s funding will help lower utility costs, cut emissions, and create healthier environments for families in every corner of the country.”

The grants are made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and will help the DOE invest in smaller communities that represent more than 250 million Americans.

“Lots of families in my blue-collar neighborhood would love to reduce their energy bills but can’t afford the up-front costs of investing in better insulation, new windows, or a more efficient boiler,” U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said. “The EECBG program offers an accessible opportunity for Oregon communities to efficiently and effectively transition to clean energy, putting more money in Oregon families’ pockets, and a lot less pollution in our skies fueling catastrophic wildfires, droughts, and other disasters.”

The Department said the EECBG Competitive Program would be administered through its Office of State and Community Energy Programs. Local governments and Tribes are encouraged to team up and apply for the Competitive Program in groups, the office said, in order to lower the administrative burdens and maximize the funds’ impact. DOE said it expected to award 10 to 20 grants ranging from $200,000 to $2 million. Federal statute requires the DOE to give priority to applicants from states and territories that have fewer than 2 million residents, and to applications that propose energy efficiency improvement or fossil fuel use reduction projects.

“Local governments have an opportunity to lead in the clean energy transition by electrifying their buildings and vehicle fleets and by adopting highly efficient and clean energy technologies. These efforts have a real impact on people’s everyday lives by lowering utility costs, reducing pollution, and creating new jobs,” U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), founder and co-chair of the Electrification Caucus.