The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) covers more than 40 municipal energy-efficiency programs in a new report as a guide for cities and counties preparing to implement federally-funded energy efficiency and conservation plans.
The nonprofit research organization says it’s essential that cities and counties use proven energy-efficiency programs as they implement energy-efficiency efforts funded under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The EECBG program will provide more than $3 billion to cities and states, creating jobs while improving energy efficiency through a variety of initiatives, says ACEEE.
The report, Energy Efficiency Program Options for Local Governments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, examines several energy-efficiency programs implemented prior to the passage of ARRA that can be used across U.S. cities as guidelines as they develop initiatives of their own. Programs included in the report range from building retrofits and energy audits to financial/tax incentives to low-income initiatives.
Some block grant recipients have already received funding for their projects, although many cities and towns are still waiting to put project plans into action, according to ACEEE.
As an example, many cities including Seattle, Wash.; Arlington Heights, Ill.; and Boise, Idaho, have already received funding for streetlight retrofitting. The EECBG is also helping state and local governments fund their renewable energy projects.
Most recently, the Department of Energy announced “The Retrofit Ramp-Up” program, as part of the EECBG, to support large-scale energy-efficiency initiatives that eventually will be rolled out to states.