Recovery Task Force Announces $156 Million in Recovery Act Funds Now Available for Energy Efficiency and Solar Projects


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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Recovery Task Force today announced that more than $156 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds are now available for application for energy efficiency and solar projects in California. A package of options under the State Energy Program (SEP) and the Energy Efficient and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) Program offer local jurisdictions, non-profits and private organizations the opportunity to invest in energy efficiency and photovoltaic energy projects – while helping to stimulate their local economies. Governor Schwarzenegger announced that California was the first state in the nation to apply federally for SEP funding available under the Recovery Act.

“California was the first state in the nation to apply for this [SEP] funding and we encourage local governments and public organizations throughout the state to take advantage of this opportunity,” said California Task Force Director Cynthia Bryant. “This funding will enable organizations to lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help infuse new jobs in communities throughout California.”

Energy Efficient and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) Program. More than $36 million in direct allocations to 265 eligible small cities and 44 eligible small counties is available to help implement cost-effective energy efficient projects. The California Energy Commission estimates that energy efficiency investments from the EECBG Program can save 61.2 million kWh of electricity; reduce CO2 emissions by 22,541 tons, save local jurisdictions in excess of $9 million per year and will save or create over 500 new jobs for communities across the state.

The EECBG Guidelines and a simple application process are now available online. Proposals are due to the Energy Commission by Jan. 10, 2010. Applicants will have until approximately September 2012 to complete their projects.

State Energy Program (SEP): Up to $95 million is available for energy projects focused on residential and commercial building retrofits and on-site photovoltaic system installation. The Energy Commission estimates that retrofitting California’s aged and inefficient residential and non-residential structures through the SEP could save 164.6 million kWh of energy annually and save or create more than 2,100 jobs.

Funding is available under a competitive solicitation process in three areas:  the California Comprehensive Residential Building Retrofit Program, the Municipal and Commercial Building Targeted Measure Retrofit Program, and the Municipal Financing Program. The SEP Guidelines, solicitations, and descriptions of the funding areas are now available online. Proposals are due to the Energy Commission by Nov. 30, 2009. Applicants will have until March 31, 2012 to complete their projects.

Additionally, local governments and public entities are encouraged to get the most from any federal funding by combining an EECBG Program grant or SEP funding award with a low interest loan. The SEP Loan Program will offer two interest rates – a new one percent interest loan funded using $25 million in added ARRA monies and the current three percent interest ECAA program funded from the existing state-funded loan program. The simple applications are available online. Four local governments, County of Marin, City of Los Angeles, City of Carlsbad and the Town of Hillsborough have already taken advantage of the one percent interest loan for more than $5.8 million to help leverage their block grants.

For more information about SEP or the EECBG Program, the Low Interest Loan Program or other energy-related federal stimulus funding and programs, visit the California Energy Commission’s Recovery page at http://energy.ca.gov/recovery/index.html.

Governor Schwarzenegger created the California Recovery Task Force to track the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding coming into the state; work with President Barack Obama’s administration; help cities, counties, non-profits, and others access the available funding; ensure that the funding funneled through the state is spent efficiently and effectively; and maintain a Web site that is frequently and thoroughly updated for Californians to be able to track the stimulus dollars.

The Task Force can be reached through its Web site, www.recovery.ca.gov, or by telephone at (916) 322-4688.

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