What is the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program?

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) provides grants to U.S. local governments, states, territories, and Indian tribes, to fund projects that reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions, and that improve energy efficiency.

The EECBG Program represents a Presidential priority to deploy the cheapest, cleanest, and fastest energy source — energy efficiency.  EECBG was authorized in Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), signed into law on December 19, 2007. It is modeled after the Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

What is the purpose of the Program?

Section 542 of Title V, Subtitle E of EISA (PL 110-140) describes the Program purpose as the following:

1.    to reduce fossil fuel emissions created as a result of activities within the jurisdictions of eligible entities in a manner that —

A.    is environmentally sustainable; and

B.    to the maximum extent practicable, maximizes benefits for local and regional communities;

2.    to reduce the total energy use of the eligible entities; and

3.    to improve energy efficiency in -

A.    the transportation sector;

B.    the building sector; and

C.    other appropriate sectors.

Additional purposes of the EECBG Program are to spur economic growth and create and/or retain jobs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

What was the funding level of the Program in past years?

The EECBG Program is new in 2009; it was funded for the first time by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

About the Grants

How much money is available?

Congress appropriated $3.2 billion for the EECBG Program, most of which (nearly $2.7 billion) will be distributed through formula grants. The balance includes approximately $455 million for competitive grants, which will be awarded through a separate Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) coming soon.

Allocations to entities eligible for direct formula grants from the DOE are based on the following approximate funding amounts:

In addition, each state must pass not less than 60% of its allocation on to cities and counties within the state that are ineligible for direct formula grants from the DOE. Each state decides how to award these sub-grants.
 
Visit the list of entities eligible for formula grants and allocation amounts for more information.

What is the formula for the formula grants?

The population data used in Program formulas are from the 2007 U.S. Census Population.

State Formula

The formula for determining allocations to states includes three factors that are considered with equal weight: (1) the total population of the state; (2) the population of the state after subtracting the populations of all cities and counties eligible for direct formula grants from DOE in that state; and (3) the total energy consumption in the state, less consumption in the industrial sector.

City/County Formula
 
The formula for determining allocations to cities and counties is based on two weighted factors: resident and daytime (commuter) population. The resident population factor receives a weight of approximately 70%, and the daytime population factor receives a weight of approximately 30%. This accounts for the energy use of these populations.    

Tribal Formula
 
The formula for Tribal governments is based on two weighted factors: tribal population and the climatic conditions in each tribe’s state, derived from heating and cooling degree days. The tribal population factor receives a weight of 75% and the tribal climate factor receives a weight 25%.  

About the Use of Funds

Generally, what can these funds be used for?

These funds are to assist State, local, territorial and Tribal governments in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, total energy use, and improve energy efficiency in all sectors.


What specific activities are eligible for use of funds?

Funds can be used community wide, not only for government owned facilities and infrastructure. A list of eligible activities for use of program funds is provided in Section 544, Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Additional details on eligible activities are in the Funding Opportunity Announcement. The following activities are eligible:


How should activities be prioritized in planning for use of funds?

Energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy programs and projects are building blocks for increased economic vitality, energy security, and environmental quality. EECBG program funds will have maximum impact if invested in ways that create and/or retain jobs and stimulate the economy in the short term while laying the foundation for a long-term and sustainable clean energy economy. DOE encourages grantees to prioritize programs and projects that:

About Eligibility
 
Who is eligible to apply for formula grants?
U.S. states, territories, Indian tribes, cities and counties are eligible to receive funds under the EECBG Program. DOE uses the most recent and accurate population data from the U.S. Census to determine eligibility.

States For the purposes of the EECBG Program, the definition of “state” includes the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and the following territories of the United States: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Specifically, the State Energy Office of each state is eligible to apply.

Cities For the purposes of the EECBG Program, the definition of “city” includes city equivalent units of local government such as towns or villages. Consolidated city-county governments will be considered as cities. A city is eligible for a direct formula grants from DOE if it has a population of at least 35,000 or if it is one of the 10 highest populated cities of the state in which it is located. Cities that do not meet the eligibility requirements for direct formula grants from DOE are still eligible for program funds through the state in which they are located.  

Counties For the purposes of the EECBG Program, the definition of “county” includes county equivalent units of local government such as parishes or boroughs. Consolidated city-county governments will be considered as cities. A county is eligible for a direct formula grant from DOE if it has a population of at least 200,000 or if it is one of the 10 highest populated counties of the state in which it is located. County populations calculated for eligibility for direct formula grants from DOE do not include the populations of cities within them that are eligible for direct formula grants from DOE. Counties that do not meet the eligibility requirements for direct formula grants from DOE are still eligible for program funds through the state in which they are located.  

Indian Tribes All Federally recognized Indian tribes and any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688; 43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) are eligible for direct formula grants from DOE.  

How do I know if I am eligible?

See a list of entities eligible for formula grants and allocation amounts for more information.
For eligibility information regarding funding from states, contact your State Energy Office.


About the Application Process

Are there any pre-application requirements?
Yes. In order to do business with the Federal government, a three-step registration process is required of all applicants. Please allow 21 days to complete the registration process.

Step 1: Request a DUNS Number at:
http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do  

Step 2: Register with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) at:
http://www.ccr.gov/  

Step 3: E-Business Point of Contact must register in FedConnect at:
https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/  

How do I apply to receive a formula grant from the DOE?
For complete application instructions and program information, a copy of the Funding Opportunity Announcement can be obtained from FedConnect by searching under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000013. Applications must be submitted through FedConnect. If you have problems, email support@fedconnect.net   


What is FedConnect?
FedConnect is an online marketplace where federal agencies post opportunities and make awards via the web. For more information about FedConnect, download and read:

https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/PublicPages/FedConnect_Ready_Set_Go.pdf  

How do I apply for a competitive grant from the DOE?
DOE’s first priority is to award the formula grants. Details on applying for competitive grants will soon be provided in a Funding Opportunity Announcement.  


How do I apply for funds from my state?
Contact your State Energy Office to request information on your state’s plan for awarding sub grants under the EECBG program.

When will applications be accepted?
Applications can be accepted now through FedConnect.  

What is the deadline to apply?
The application due date for states is May 26, 2009 at 8:00:00 PM Eastern Time.  

The application due date for cities, counties, and Indian tribes eligible for direct formula grants from the DOE is June 25, 2009 at 8:00:00 PM Eastern Time.

How will applications be reviewed?
The DOE’s project management team will review each application to ensure that the grantee has developed a strategy for use of funds with activities eligible under the Program, and that the proposed budgets are acceptable.  

About Reporting and Accountability

How will success be measured?
Grantees will be required to report regularly to the DOE on five metrics:

  1. Jobs created and/or retained
  2. Energy savings on a per dollar invested basis
  3. Renewable energy capacity installed
  4. Greenhouse gas emissions reduced
  5. Funds leveraged