September 16, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor M. Jodi Rell announced that the state will receive more than $9.5 million in federal stimulus funds to distribute to 143 small cities and towns for a variety of energy efficiency projects as a result of the Governor’s block grant plan approved today by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“This is tremendous news for communities in ever corner of our state. These funds will allow them to move forward with cost-saving energy efficiency projects that ultimately will save money for local taxpayers,” Governor Rell said. “Particularly important is that many of these innovative projects will help create green collar jobs and boost the local business community.”
The funds will be distributed in the form of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG). The Governor said the Office of Policy and Management will administer the grants and the application process will begin in the next few weeks.
“I strongly encourage local leaders to apply for the funds and take advantage of the opportunity to foster green development and build more energy efficient communities,” Governor Rell said.
The grants are in addition to nearly $15 million in stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that the federal government directly awarded to 26 of the state’s largest municipalities.
Under the Governor’s energy block grant plan, every town not receiving a direct grant was eligible for at least $25,000 plus an amount determined by population. Of the $9.5 million, the state will distribute 90 percent of that as block grants and provide the remaining 10 percent as a “bonus pool” for those towns that choose to participate in regional energy efficiency and conservation projects. (List of towns and grants is attached.)
The funding will support a variety of projects, including energy audits, retrofits, transportation programs that conserve energy, greenhouse gas reduction, development of energy efficient building codes and geothermal building systems. Towns must spend or fully commit the funds within two years of the grant award. Connecticut was one of 22 states to be awarded the funds.
The Governor said that municipalities are encouraged to use the money within the framework of the state’s energy policy, established under the 2008 Global Warming Law (Public Act 08-98) and Governor Rell’s Connecticut Energy Vision. Under this framework the state has established energy efficiency and conservation goals that include:
- 20 percent reduction in fossil fuel consumption by 2020
- 20 percent reduction in electric-peak grid consumption by 2020
- Commercial transportation fuels to include mixture of 20 percent alternative fuels by 2020
- Residential and commercial heating oil to include mixture of 20 percent alternative fuels by 2020
- 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels
- 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared to 2001 levels
For more information on the energy grants and the AARA in Connecticut go to:
www.ct.gov and click on the CT Recovery link.