The US Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program is providing funds to Massachusetts as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, also known as the "stimulus package").
Communities with populations over 35,000 will receive allocations directly from the US Department of Energy. Communities with under 35,000 residents, like Needham, will be eligible for funding through the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DoER). Massachusetts will receive $14,752,000 for communities under 35,000 through this program.
This funding will be made available as follows:
- $12,252,000 in competitive grants communities can apply for
- These funds can be used for solar photovoltaic and other clean energy technologies' (such as combined heat and power, solar thermal, biomass) as well as performance oontracting buydowns
- Projects must be shovel-ready - defined as economically and technically feasible; ready to be advertised
- Projects must demonstrate how they will create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Grants are capped at $150,000
- Leveraged funds are encouraged, though not required
- $1,500,000 will be spent by DoER to provide all towns and cities an Energy Information Reporting System that DoER is now piloting with selected communities
- EIRS is similar to NStar's Portfolio Manager and ICLE's software tool
- $1,000,000 will be spent by DoER to provide:
- training to local building inspectors on the new energy code
- Technical Assistance Grants - a competitive process open to all cities and towns for:
- Owners Agents (i.e. consultants) for Performance Contracting
- Owners Agents (i.e. consultants) for clean energy technologies
- Development of an energy reduction plan
Information about this program was provided at a DoER webinar on May 15, 2009.
- Annotated presentation from the webinar