Energy Efficiency

06 Apr 2023

DOE Opens Applications for $8.8M From Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (Eecbg) Competitive Program

06 Apr 2023  by greencarcongress   
The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that applications are open for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Competitive Program. The EECBG Competitive Program will award $8.8 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to teams of local governments and state-recognized Tribes that are ineligible for the program’s formula grant.

Grantees will be able to use the funds to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and reduce overall energy use.

The DOE says that through its Office of State and Community Energy Programs, the EECBG Competitive Program will give often-left-behind communities the boost they need to help meet net-zero energy goals, while attaining increased energy savings, creating clean energy jobs, and delivering targeted benefits to disadvantaged communities. Local governments and Tribes are encouraged to team up and apply for the Competitive Program in groups to lower administrative burdens and maximize the impact of program funds.

DOE expects to make approximately 10-20 awards ranging from $200,000 to $2 million, serving 20-50 communities. DOE is directed by statute to give priority to applications from states and territories with fewer than 2 million residents and to applications that propose projects that would result in significant energy efficiency improvements or reductions in fossil fuel use.

The EECBG Program provides communities with flexible funding for a variety of projects, such as developing regional clean energy strategic plans, creating investments in distributed energy technologies, or launching regional weatherization-based workforce development programs.

DOE will also provide communities with access to technical assistance, peer-to-peer sharing, and on-the-ground support. Local governments and state-recognized Tribes interested in applying for the EECBG Competitive Program will have until 5 June 2023, to submit a concept paper featuring a project proposal.

DOE will host webinars to provide more information about the Competitive Program on 18 April at 2pm ET and on 15 May at 2pm ET.

Background. President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) into law in November 2021. The BIL appropriates more than $62 billion to DOE. Through section 40552 (b) of the BIL, Congress authorized $550 million for the EECBG Program. This program supports the Biden Administration’s goal to achieve a carbon-free electric grid by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

The purpose of EECBG is to assist eligible entities in implementing strategies to:

Reduce fossil fuel emissions created as a result of activities within the jurisdictions of eligible entities;

Reduce the total energy use of the eligible entities; and

Improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building, and other appropriate sectors.

While 98% of EECBG BIL funds will be allocated to eligible jurisdictions through a formula allocation per statutory direction, 2% or $8.8 million are directed to be provided through a competitive process for:

Units of local government (including Indian tribes) that are not eligible for a formula allocation based on population; or

To a consortium of local governments.

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