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Local Government Commission

Currents


Spring 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act News

A lot has happened since the last issue of CURRENTS. There will be multiple pools of funding that local governments can access. Here, we focus on the energy programs, and not the others.

California Energy Commission staff hosted a meeting on April 10th to share with local government representatives the outline of the programs they will be implementing under the stimulus plan. There are two major components the CEC will administer:

  • State Energy Program (SEP)
  • Small Community Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (SCEECBG)

The CEC will receive $226,000,000 under the SEP to support various programs in residential, commercial, transportation, industrial, institutional, and agricultural energy efficiency, in renewable energy research and deployment, and in transmission planning. The CEC will be filing its plan to use these funds with the US Department of Energy (US DOE) on May 12th.

The CEC will receive $49,600,000 for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, 60% of which will be available to small cities and counties through a competitive grant program. The remaining 40% can be expended at the CEC’s discretion for Energy Independence Security Act-related activities. The CEC will file its plan for these funds with the US DOE on May 28th. Larger cities (> 35,000 population) and counties (> 200,000 population) will be awarded funds directly from the US DOE, and must file their plans by June 25th.

The CEC has these criteria for program focus:

  • job creation and retention;
  • lasting and measurable energy benefits through recycling of funds;
  • leveraging additional federal, state, local and private funds;
  • contributing to California energy policy goals (IEPR & CEESP); and
  • expending funds efficiently, with accountability and minimal administrative burden.

CEC staff plans to host workshops the first week of May in Sacramento, LA, and Fresno. They will focus on the May 12 filing of the State Energy Program and the May 28 filing for the small community EECBG grant program.

If approved, funding for these two programs should start arriving at the CEC within 60 days. During that time period CEC staff will be hosting more workshops/ meetings around the state to help them design the guidelines for participation.

The web sites for the US DOE and CEC on the recovery plan are below. At the CEC site you can (and should) sign up for email alerts on the programs.

US DOE - www.energy.gov/recovery/
CEC - www.energy.ca.gov/recovery/

The League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties have information on their web sites for local governments as well.

The Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC) has been following the stimulus funding for its members. LGSEC hosted a conference call before the April 10th CEC meeting to ensure that its members’ interests were represented before the CEC. More information on the LGSEC.