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State launches grant to fund energy projects
LANSING — Michigan will use $17.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to create a competitive grant program to fund energy efficiency and conservation projects in communities throughout Michigan. The grants, administered by Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth Bureau of Energy Systems, are designed to cut the state’s use of fossil fuels, reduce energy bills for communities and consumers, and create jobs in Michigan’s growing alternative energy and conservation industries.
“These grants will allow Michigan communities to reduce energy use, and at the same time help transform Michigan’s economy,” Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “I encourage communities to propose innovative, fiscally sound projects that will save energy, create jobs, and support the state’s growing alternative energy industry.”
Applications for grants are due at 5 p.m. on Oct. 22.
The Recovery Act included more than $2.4 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program that makes funding available to local governments to reduce energy use and improve efficiency in buildings, transportation and other sectors. The majority of the funding was allocated directly to municipal and tribal governments. In Michigan, 10 counties, 12 federally recognized tribes and 46 cities and townships received a combined $58.3 million directly through the EECBG.
In addition, Michigan’s State Energy Office received $19.6 million through the EECBG. States receiving EECGB dollars are required to use a minimum of 60 percent of their allocation to fund competitive grants to communities not eligible for direct EECBG awards from the Department of Energy. Michigan is making 88 percent available to local communities through competitive grants.
Two competitive grant opportunities will be funded with the state’s EECBG allocation.
EECBG Multi-Purpose Grants will help eligible cities, townships and counties implement energy efficiency and conservation strategies designed to reduce fossil fuel emissions and total energy use, and improve energy efficiency. Cities, townships and counties that received a direct allocation from DOE are not eligible to apply. Communities may use the funds for a variety of projects including building audits and retrofits, financial incentive programs, upgrades to traffic signals and streetlights, implementation and enforcement of advanced building codes, and installation of renewable energy technologies on government buildings.
LED Demonstration Grants will allow local governments to implement projects using light emitting diode products, to both reduce energy use and increase public awareness of LED technology. All city, township and county jurisdictions are eligible to apply.
“This is a great example of the federal Recovery Act funding in action,” DELEG Director Stanley “Skip” Pruss said in a statement. “These projects will enhance Michigan’s ability to achieve its energy efficiency goals and support the energy needs and priorities of local communities, while creating or retaining thousands of jobs across the state. In order to ensure that these Recovery Act funds reach as many local cities and counties as possible, we will encourage communities to partner together and to leverage other public and private resources.”
The official Request for Proposal with complete eligibility guidelines and application details is available at www.michigan.gov/energyoffice