SACRAMENTO–The California Recovery Task Force announced the largest amount of State Energy Program (SEP) funds awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) for energy efficiency and solar projects.
Aimed at promoting statewide economic vitality and building a clean energy workforce, the SEP Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit and Municipal Financing Programs will provide a combined $110 million to California local jurisdictions, non-profits and private organizations. This will fund an estimated 1,100 jobs and will help to save money on consumer and commercial utility bills.
“Putting skilled Californians back to work is a main priority of the California Recovery Task Force, and the State Energy Program will help stimulate the economy in all regions of the state,” said Senior Advisor to the Governor and Director of the California Recovery Task Force Herb K. Schultz. “California has always been and will continue to be the national leader in advanced energy efficiency efforts – efforts that continue to reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emmissions and petroleum dependence.”
With these awards, nearly 85 percent of the SEP funds are committed to energy saving projects that fund jobs statewide, including 12 projects for the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programs. For every one dollar in Recovery Act funds invested, California will have successfully leveraged $3 of state, utility or private funds – bringing in more than $300 million in public and private funding and utility rebates.
Both the California Recovery Task Force and California Energy Commission worked extensively with the legislature to create these energy initatives that fund jobs, receiving substantial input and direction from the legislature on program development and implementation.
In addition, the Energy Commission has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Energy and local jurisdictions and stakeholders by holding more than 40 workshops, clinics, hearings and other forums throughout California (from El Centro to Eureka) to obtain input in the development of innovative programs and ensure a more transparent, equitable and beneficial use of Recovery Act funds.
The Residential Building Retrofit Program allows a range of home and multi-family residential retrofits from simple improvements using straightforward checklists and trained contractors to install insulation or duct sealing to more complex whole house retrofits. This program will employ home energy raters and building performance contractors who are trained to accomplish deeper, comprehensive retrofits.
The Commercial Building Retrofit Program focuses specifically on highly efficient technologies that are easy to install such as lighting for parking structures, lots or walkways, ventilation and heating and air conditioning.
The Municipal Financing Program is aimed at assisting cities, counties and groups of cities and counties in the continued development of their own financing program. This program allows building owners to finance permanent energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy improvements.