NLC to Highlight Cities' EECBG Programs: Department of Energy Announces Regional Meetings for EECBG Grantees
Zborel, Tammy, Dan, Johnson, Nation's Cities Weekly
Locally led efforts to conserve energy, increase efficiency and invest in clean, renewable energy sources epitomize the oft-cited mantra of sustainability--to think globally while acting locally. Energy saving programs and initiatives contribute to long-term goals of energy independence and reduced fossil fuel emissions. They also provide a range of direct and more immediate benefits for cities and their communities, such as lower energy costs, job creation and facilitating the transition to cleaner sources of energy.
NLC played a key role in supporting local energy efforts by advocating for full funding ($3.2 billion) for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Since July 2009 EECBG grants have been awarded to cities, counties and states to develop and implement innovative energy saving programs such as: building audits, retrofits and weatherization; street and traffic lighting upgrades; energy finance mechanisms; increased transportation options; and initiatives to minimize waste and reduce emissions.
EECBG funding has been especially important in providing capital to support cost-saving and job-creating programs that may not have otherwise been possible in cities facing significant fiscal challenges. Recognizing the importance of this program to local communities, NLC will once again advocate for continued funding for EECBG in the 2011 federal budget.
To emphasize the need for ongoing support, NLC is reaching out to members to gather and share stories from the field demonstrating the impact these funds have had in communities across the country. If your city has received EECBG funding and would like to share updates of projects completed, planned, or in-progress, please e-mail zborel@nlc. …