In a new report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) presented profiles of more than 40 municipal energy-efficiency programs as a guide for cities and counties preparing to implement federally funded energy efficiency and conservation plans.

“The passage of the [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009] ARRA economic stimulus package was the largest single investment in energy efficiency to date, and the first time federal money has been directed specifically to municipal energy-efficiency efforts,” said ACEEE policy researcher Michael Sciortino, referring to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program included in the ARRA. “It is essential that local governments use proven program models like those featured in this report to ensure success.”

Cities and counties have long been active developers of successful energy-efficiency programs, and with the release of EECBG funds, local governments are poised to further their critical role. ACEEE’s report, “Energy Efficiency Program Options for Local Governments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” examines a number of innovative energy-efficiency programs implemented by American towns and cities prior to the passage of ARRA. The EECBG program will dispense more than $3 billion to cities and states, creating jobs while improving U.S. energy efficiency through a variety of initiatives, including building retrofits, incentives and audit programs. Some block-grant recipients have already received funding to execute their chosen “shovel-ready” projects; however, many cities and towns are still waiting to put project plans into action.

“The EECBG program is an opportunity for all municipalities to become leaders in energy efficiency,” said Sarah Black, report lead author. “This report provides concrete examples of how American towns and cities can take action now to launch innovative and meaningful programs that save energy and create jobs.”
The full report can be dowloaded free from aceee.org/pubs/e09x.htm.