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Updated Information Regarding EECBG
April 8, 2009
Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds will be available to entitlement communities from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A final list will be published in the Federal Register. If your city had a population greater than 35k using 2007 Census data and is not listed, you should immediately contact DOE. The League will offer training assistance to entitlement communities to help them develop and submit their Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy as required under EECBG. (The tentative date for the training is April 28.)
The State of Michigan Bureau of Energy Systems (BES) will administer competitive grants for the small cities program under EECBG. A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be used to solicit proposals under the program. BES must submit a state plan to DOE by May 26. DOE has 60 days to review and approve the plan before making a grant award to the state. BES will have the RFP available for small cities after the grant award is made to the state by DOE.
In the interim, non-entitlement cities can thoroughly review the Funding Opportunity Announcement form DOE (DE-FOA-0000013). In particular, a potential applicant should review Attachment D which delineates the steps for developing an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy. (All links are available on the MML website.) Although this guidance is intended for the entitlement communities, BES will be developing a similar process for smaller cities that intend to submit proposals.
The League has partnered with BES to develop a template for developing a strategy. The template is entitled “Michigan Green Communities Challenge—An Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy.” A plan designed to support a competitive grant proposal under the entitlement and non-entitlement programs should consider collaboration with partners; a long-term outlook; and leveraged resources. Plans and projects should also be ready to implement after grant award.
Basic energy audits can be used to support proposals that describe plans for implementing energy conservation opportunities. If your municipality has not completed basic energy audits for their facilities within the past 5-6 years, you may contact the State of Michigan/BES for a free Introductory Energy Evaluations through their Rebuild Michigan Program. The State can also assist local governments to begin online tracking of their energy cost and consumption through the DOE & Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.