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DOE Announces $6.6 Million in Competitive Grant Selections For Innovative State Efficiency, Renewables Initiatives

September 8, 2008 - 3:20pm

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency David Rodgers today announced awards for approximately $6.6 million in competitive-selected grants for innovative state-level energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and projects.  The DOE supported, state-led projects will focus on building utility scale energy capacity from renewables and demand reduction, as well as advanced building energy codes.  Rodgers made the announcements while addressing the National Association for State Energy Officials Annual Meeting.

"These projects will stimulate innovative state policy activities and investments to help transform markets for energy efficiency and renewable energy," Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Rodgers said.  "Our goal is to spur the greatest possible gains in energy efficiency or renewable energy for each dollar spent."

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and Office of Electricity Delivery and Electric Reliability selected nine projects valued at $4.0 million, DOE Share, for states to create and implement a policy and regulatory framework that would enable gigawatt-scale clean energy capacity, whether through renewable energy or demand side reductions.  While no cost share was required, state partners will contribute up to $1.8 million for the projects ranging from regional protocols to evaluate, measure, verify and report demand-side resource impacts to reports addressing key barriers and incentives for building transmission for renewable energy.

EERE also selected six state-led projects valued at $2.6 million (DOE Share) to develop advance building codes.   These awards will assist states in developing and implementing plans that will achieve model building codes in the residential and or commercial building sector to achieve a 30 percent improvement above code.  Along with the financial assistance, DOE will be supporting these states with ongoing technical assistance. The DOE investment in advanced codes will leverage project cost share totaling $2.3 million.

Summaries of the individual state proposed projects are as follows:

Gigawatt-scale Clean Energy Capacity ($4.0 million).  Grants will assist states in creating the policy framework and regulatory environment to enable clean energy capacity at the gigawatt (GW) scale, either through renewable energy or demand side reductions. States will develop innovative legislation, policies, programs and strategies that accelerated investments in renewable energy or energy efficiency. The following nine projects were selected for funding:

  • Arizona will create the foundation for a streamlined and cost-effective existing home performance improvement program, which could be implemented throughout the state.  The program will incorporate a streamlined approach to the evaluation and repair of existing homes, lowering customer participation costs and encouraging widespread participation.  The state will focus on housing stocks in five representative cities with the potential for achieving cost-effective energy savings by a typical weatherization crew and contractors ($500,000).
  • Colorado will develop a report addressing key barriers and incentives for building transmission capacity for renewable energy.   The report will include a set of policy recommendations to address permitting, siting and related environmental issues that represent major barriers to the development of renewable energy and transmission expansion within the region ($397,000).
  • Georgia will build on a variety of ongoing activities to create the infrastructure that will enable Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina to integrate clean energy supplies into their electricity portfolio ($257,459).
  • Hawaii will establish a policy framework for renewable energy for the grid infrastructure using innovative demand site management, electrical storage, smart grid technologies, and electrical transmission and delivery technologies. The grid infrastructure will be specific to the Island of Oahu where over 80 percent of the state's population resides ($500,000).
  • Maine will partner with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership to assist the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States to develop and use common regional protocols to evaluate, measure, verify and report demand-side resource impacts including energy efficiency ($500,000).
  • Michigan will develop statewide infrastructure to support Pay-As-You -Save (PAYS) and implement up to four PAYS pilot projects.  The grant will be used to create the framework, regulatory environment, and policies to make it possible to achieve at least one gigawatt of new energy capacity either through demand-side reductions or distributed renewable energy.   This strategy will provide consumers with the option to finance cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy measures through a tariff on their utility bill, using a portion of energy cost savings to pay for the capital and financing cost of improvements ($491,100).
  • Maryland will identify, analyze, and design regulatory and policy elements of a Smart Grid program for the state.  This will be done by implementing a program called EmPower Maryland and will positively impact the state by creating the regulatory and policy framework to enable at least one GW of capacity when fully implemented ($461,793).
  • South Carolina will seek to overcome existing barriers for coastal clean energy development for wind, wave, and tidal energy projects.  The grant will be used to develop studies on transmission, resource validation, and regulatory barriers.  The grant will also establish the South Carolina Coastal Clean Energy Regulatory Task Force to create a regulatory environment conducive to wind, wave, and tidal energy development in state waters ($492,648).
  • Wisconsin will develop the policy and regulatory framework to accelerate investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and create gigawatt-scale clean energy capacity.  The state will evaluate the 25 oldest coal boilers under 85 megawatts in nameplate capacity and convert suitable coal boilers to wood-fired boilers and create a plan, along with draft language for state energy authorities to provide low interest loans for renewable energy projects ($400,000).

Advanced Building Codes ($2.6 million).  Grants will assist states in developing and implementing plans that will achieve model building codes representing a 30 percent improvement over American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (ASHRAE) 90.1-2004 and/or the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The following six projects were selected for funding:

  • California will build the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards Learning Management System, an online system developed in partnership with Building Media Incorporated, to educate building department professionals to enforce the 2008 Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards and the next Standards update ($500,000).
  • Florida seeks to advance commercial and residential Energy Code to a level at least 30 percent better than current standards. The grant will support a combination of administrative, legislative, compliance tool development, and training tasks ($495,708).
  • Massachusetts will work with other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to develop and implement plans to upgrade, implement and enforce building energy codes that are a 30 percent improvement over ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and/or the 2006 IECC ($500,000).
  • Nebraska will seek to increase the state's economic and energy freedom and to become a national leader in energy efficiency and energy building code initiatives.  This will be done by adopting a commercial building energy code that is 30 percent beyond the building and lighting requirements set forth in ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and IECC 2006 ($303,065).
  • North Carolina will update their state energy code during the 2009 to 2010 time period.  The grant will support organization and management of a stakeholder process to review and support changes to the state energy code in order to make future buildings more energy efficient. The State will also develop mechanisms to determine the level of code enforcement and to identify the main problem areas for code enforcement officials, building designers, and building contractors ($499,190).
  • Washington will update their state energy code to an efficiency level that is a 30 percent improvement over ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and/or the 2006 IECC in the 2009 code revision process by providing code implementation support.  This will include development and revision of materials to implement the 2009 changes and training and support to the building community to ensure success in code implementation ($300,000).

For more information on DOE's State Energy Program, visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Media contact(s):

Jennifer Scoggins, (202) 586-4940

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