U.S. public entities can invest in energy efficiency, sustainability with federal block grant program

Eco-friendly or sustainable energy symbols of light bulbs, rechargeable battery, solar cell panel and wind turbine atop five coin stacks

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is a pivotal funding mechanism in the nation’s efforts to enhance energy efficiency, foster renewable energy adoption and promote infrastructure renewal. The EECBG began as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, received $3.2 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and was refreshed in 2022 under the Inflation Reduction Act. The funds can be used for a range of energy projects and services. This program, primarily targeted at state, local, tribal and territorial governments, offers numerous benefits, making it a cornerstone in the country’s environmental and energy improvement strategies.

A crucial step in enhancing energy efficiency is understanding current energy usage and identifying areas for improvement. EECBG funds support energy audits, which provide detailed assessments of energy consumption in buildings. These audits are instrumental in pinpointing inefficiencies and help guide the implementation of measures to reduce energy waste and renew aging systems to improve reliability and efficiency.

Aging infrastructure across the U.S. poses a considerable challenge, often leading to increased energy consumption and reduced efficiency. EECBG funds allow public governmental entities to modernize their systems and facilities.

Moreover, the EECBG program empowers communities to implement energy efficiency upgrades in public facilities, such as schools, government buildings and community centers. These upgrades can range from simple improvements like installing LEDs and energy-efficient windows to more comprehensive measures such as retrofitting heating, ventilating and air conditioning or building automation systems. By reducing the energy demand of these buildings, the program helps lower operational costs, minimizes environmental impact and demonstrates a commitment to sustainable practices to the community.

Beyond energy efficiency, the EECBG program fosters the adoption of renewable and alternative energy sources. Public entities can use these funds to invest in solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy projects. Furthermore, electric vehicle infrastructure installations and studies can be covered with EECBG funds. This shift reduces the reliance on nonrenewable energy sources and aligns with broader environmental goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable community growth.

The EECBG program represents a comprehensive approach to address the pressing needs of energy efficiency and sustainable infrastructure in the U.S. By providing funding to construct sustainable infrastructure, the EECBG equips public entities with the resources needed to lead the way in building a sustainably conscious future.

Contact Kalvin Kwan at kkwan@hanson-inc.com for assistance on using EECBG funds for your energy and infrastructure projects.

Posted on February 15, 2024