The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included several key funding opportunities for energy efficiency projects at the local level, including for the first time monies for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.1 Funding was additionally provided for state energy programs, weatherization assistance, and efficient transportation efficiency among other initiatives. The EECBG program allows cities and counties to fund a range of projects that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, most notably municipal-level energy efficiency programs.
Cities are in many ways ideally suited to advance energy efficiency initiatives, and these block grants represent the first-ever commitment of direct federal resources in support of city and county leaders and their efforts to expand existing locally based initiatives and design and implement new programs. Prior to this level of federal support, many local governments across the country implemented important and innovative energy efficiency programs; this report highlights some of these efforts as examples of programs that could be implemented using EECBG funds.
1 The EECBG was authorized as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)