Obama Administration Awards more than $13 Million for West Virginia's Energy Program
12 Jul, 2009
Obama Administration Awards more than $13 Million for West Virginia’s State Energy Program Funding Will Speed Adoption of Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced $13.1 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in West Virginia. Under DOE’s State Energy Program, West Virginia proposed a statewide plan that prioritizes energy savings, creates or retains jobs, increases the use of renewable energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is part of the Obama Administration’s national strategy to support job growth, while making a historic down payment on clean energy and conservation. “This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence," said Secretary Chu. "It reflects our commitment to support innovative state and local strategies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy while insisting that taxpayer dollars be spent responsibly." "The Recovery Act funding we are putting to use through this energy efficiency program will help to create and retain jobs immediately, while reducing our energy consumption and state government energy costs and allowing us to meet our goal of energy independence in the long run," said Gov. Joe Manchin. "The revolving loan fund will also help other partners reduce their energy consumption and encourage jobs in the growing green energy sector." Secretary Chu recently announced a total of more than $96 million for State Energy Programs in 4 states: Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia. Each of the states is receiving 40 percent of their total State Energy Program (SEP) funding authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With this announcement, West Virginia will now have received 50 percent of its total Recovery Act SEP funding. The initial 10 percent of funding was previously available to support planning activities; the remaining 50 percent of funds will be released once it meets reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act. After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive more than $16 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $32 million. West Virginia will use its SEP funding provided by the Recovery Act to implement six programs to improve energy efficiency in state buildings. These programs will fund upgrades in state administrative office buildings, correctional facilities, hospitals, health care facilities, laboratories, schools, colleges and universities, and armories. Upgrades will include replacing or improving lighting systems, windows, HVAC systems, boilers, and control systems. West Virginia will also create the Energy Efficiency for Businesses Revolving Loan Program to provide financial assistance to businesses to support energy efficiency investments. SEP funding will also go toward creating a Green Collar Jobs Training program to provide West Virginians with the education, training and skills necessary for employment in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Under the Recovery Act, DOE expanded the types of activities eligible for State Energy Program funding, which include energy audits, building retrofits, education and training efforts, transportation programs to increase the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, and new financing mechanisms to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program to help achieve national energy independence goals and promote local economic recovery. States use these grants at the state and local level to create green jobs, address state energy priorities, and adopt emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Transparency and accountability are important priorities for SEP and all Recovery Act projects. Throughout the program’s implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and national level, while emphasizing with states the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies.