WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $9.6 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Delaware. Under DOE’s State Energy Program, Delaware proposed a statewide plan that prioritizes energy savings, creates or retains jobs, increases the use of renewable energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Secretary Chu today announced a total of more than $162 million for State Energy Programs in seven states and territories states including: Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico. Each grantee is receiving 40 percent of its total State Energy Program (SEP) funding authorized under the Recovery Act.
“This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help to put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence,” said Secretary Chu. “It reflects our commitment to support innovative state and local strategies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy while insisting that taxpayer dollars be spent responsibly.”
With today’s announcement, Delaware will now have received 40 percent of its total State Energy Program (SEP) funding authorized under the Recovery Act. Delaware will now have received 50 percent of its total Recovery Act SEP funding. The initial 10 percent of total funding was previously available to support planning activities; the remaining 50 percent of funds will be released once the state meets reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act. After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, Delaware will receive over $12 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $24 million.
The state of Delaware will use its SEP Recovery Act funds to enhance energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and government sectors statewide. Delaware will use the funds to establish a Home Performance Program that will help defray costs of home energy audits and installing energy efficient equipment for families above the low-income eligibility threshold for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
The state will also help to fund energy efficiency upgrades in small businesses, commercial establishments and manufacturing facilities. These upgrades will allow Delaware’s businesses to remain competitive by reducing their energy consumption and energy costs, which helps contribute to overall profitability. Recovery Act funds directed to this program will be leveraged with other state funds through the sale of allowances from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The state also will use Recovery Act funds to provide additional rebates for solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems, small wind applications, and geothermal systems for homes, businesses, and institutional buildings.
Activities eligible for State Energy Program funding include energy audits, building retrofits, education and training efforts, transportation programs to increase the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, and new financing mechanisms to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.
The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program (SEP) to help promote energy efficiency and clean energy deployment, as well as to support local economic recovery. States use these grants at the state and local level to create green jobs and address state energy priorities.
Transparency and accountability are important priorities for SEP and all Recovery Act projects. Throughout the program’s implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and national level, while emphasizing with states the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies.