More than $13 million is headed to Montana for energy efficiency improvements.
The $13,971,000 is in addition to $52,398,777 already granted to the state by the Obama administration for weatherization and energy funding. The additional funding, which will filter $3.2 billion to U.S. cities, counties, states, territories and Native American tribes, was announced Thursday by Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
“These investments will save taxpayer dollars and create jobs in communities around the country,” Biden said. “Local leaders will have the flexibility in how they put these resources to work, but we will hold them accountable for making the investments quickly and wisely to spur the local economy and cut energy use.”
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, funded by Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will provide formula grants for projects that reduce total energy use and fossil fuel emissions and improve energy efficiency.
The funding will support energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements. Other activities eligible for use of grant funds include transportation programs that conserve energy, projects to reduce and capture methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, renewable energy installations on government buildings, energy efficient traffic signals and street lights, deployment of Combined Heat and Power and district heating and cooling systems, and others.
“The Block Grants are a major investment in energy solutions that will strengthen America’s economy and create jobs at the local level,” Chu said. “The funding will be used for the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies we have – energy efficiency and conservation – which can be deployed immediately. The grants also empower local communities to make strategic investments to meet the nation’s long term clean energy and climate goals.”
A local breakdown of the funds includes $50,000 for Anaconda-Deer Lodge, $175,500 for Bozeman, $138,700 for Butte-Silver Bow and $198,700 for Gallatin County.
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