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Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will receive $14,108,700 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and conservation activities. Under the Department of Energy’s Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, Philadelphia will implement programs that lower energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and create green jobs locally.
“This funding will allow communities across the country to make major investments in energy solutions that will strengthen America's economy and create jobs at the local level,” said Secretary Chu. “It will also promote some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies we have - energy efficiency and conservation - which can be deployed immediately. Local communities can now make strategic investments to help meet the nation's long term clean energy and climate goals.”
DOE is announcing nearly $93 million in funding today from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and conservation activities in Chicago, Illinois; Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Los Angeles and Sacramento County, California.
Philadelphia will use its Recovery Act EECBG funding to realize many elements of Greenworks Philadelphia, the city's sustainability strategy, which calls for a 30 percent reduction in municipal energy usage by 2015, while also promoting energy efficiency in sectors such as transportation and waste management. In addition, Philadelphia will employ grants and an innovative revolving loan program to incentivize the private-sector to invest in energy efficiency in ways that contribute to long-term regional economic prosperity. Philadelphia will devote $1 million of its EECBG funds to help implement energy audits and retrofits for municipal buildings that can help restore buildings to their optimum efficiency levels. Philadelphia will also match $3 million in EECBG funds to install 85,000 LED traffic signals that require far less energy than conventional bulbs and have significantly longer lifespans.
Philadelphia will also partner with RecycleBank to implement an incentive-based recycling program that will encourage families to increase their rate of recycling and trash reduction rate. The city will also replace nearly 400 traditional wire litter baskets with 260 solar compacting litter baskets and 115 on-street recycling units. The compactors are self-powered and automatically compact the waste when the trash reaches a certain level. The program will need to provide schedule collection only twice a week, providing a significant reduction in the vehicle miles traveled by diesel-powered trash trucks.
EECBG funds will also support a set of grant programs in the city, including competitive matching grants to small businesses to incentivize the private sector to pursue
energy-efficient retrofits and funding to help commercialize nascent technologies and develop the infrastructure to support next-generation energy technologies. In addition, a revolving, sustainable loan program will offer blended loans and grants to owners of large-scale commercial and industrial property to provide affordable capital for efficiency retrofits. The program will focus on businesses that are trying to expand or attempting to maintain a facility that would otherwise be at risk of closure, with all interest earned through this program returned to the fund to sustain lending activity over the long term.
The EECBG Program was funded for the first time by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and provides formula grants to states, cities, counties, territories and federally-recognized Indian tribes nationwide to implement energy efficiency projects locally. Projects eligible for support include the development of an energy efficiency and conservation strategy, energy efficiency audits and retrofits, transportation programs, the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and installation of renewable energy technologies on municipal buildings.
Transparency and accountability are important priorities for the EECBG program and all Recovery Act projects. All grantees have specific measures they must take before spending the full amount of awarded funding, such as ensuring oversight and transparency, submitting a conservation strategy to the Department of Energy, and complying with environmental regulations.
Throughout the program’s implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and tribal level, while emphasizing the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies. Communities will be required to report regularly to DOE on the progress they have made toward successfully completing projects and reaching program goals.
For a full list of awards to date, visit www.eecbg.energy.gov or http://www.eecbg.energy.gov/grantees/default.html.