U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a total of $2,903,000 to Erie County in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These funds are awarded to help communities improve their energy efficiency, reduce their energy use and fossil fuel emissions, and create green jobs locally. Throughout the program’s implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and tribal level, while emphasizing the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies.
“Investing in clean energy is a critical component to creating jobs and cutting our fuel emissions,” said Schumer. “In tough economic times, it is crucial to the region’s economic health that we invest in clean energy infrastructure and give our businesses the tools they need to remain competitive. This funding will bring a much-needed boost for the local economy and I will continue to push at a federal level to bring Erie County the funding it needs to become a leader in the green energy movement.”
“Investing in energy efficiency projects is smart and responsible. It saves taxpayer money, reduces pollution, and cuts dependence on foreign oil,” said Schumer. “While Americans are struggling to make ends meet and energy prices and pollution continue to soar, funding clean energy projects makes sense for Western New York and all of New York State.”
The EECBG program will provide grants for projects that reduce total energy use and fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency in local communities and nationwide. Activities eligible for EECBG funding include energy audits and building retrofits in the residential and commercial sector, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements.
Funding for the EECBG Program under the Recovery Act totals $3.2 billion, of which approximately $2.7 billion will be awarded through formula grants to more than 2,300 cities, counties, states, and Indian tribes nationwide. In addition, more than $400 million will be delivered through competitive grants.