Larger Cities, counties and tribes being allocated funding directly from the U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the eligibility of larger cities and counties (PDF), and federally-recognized tribes (PDF) of Washington to apply directly to the federal government for EECBG formula funds. Applications from local governments are due to the federal Department of Energy by January 31, 2024.

The DOE’s application template, Energy and Conservation Strategy, states that local governments of all sizes are expected to “coordinate and share information with the state regarding activities carried out using the grant to maximize the energy efficiency and conservation benefits under the EECBG program.”

A separate allocation of EECBG funds is expected to come to the state of Washington later this year and will be administered by the Department of Commerce. The major portion of these funds will be sub-granted to smaller local governments and that distribution system is still under development.

The strategic use of these funds will help Washington to achieve goals and objectives laid out in in policy and the State Energy Strategy:

In 2019, the Legislature enacted the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), which requires a greenhouse gas-neutral electricity supply by 2030 and 100% renewable or non-emitting sources by 2045.

This law also directed the Department of Commerce to revise the State Energy Strategy, last updated in 2012, to align the strategy with the requirements of the Energy Independence Act, CETA, and the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction limits. In March 2023, Washington published the first biennial update, the 2023 Biennial Energy Report (PDF), to the 2021 state energy strategy. This report provides a progress update on State Energy Strategy recommendations, and features cross-cutting areas related to state agencies leading by example, workforce and clean energy jobs, energy resilience, and environmental justice.

In 2019, the Clean Buildings law was also enacted. This included establishing a building energy performance standard to lower costs and pollution from fossil fuel consumption in the state’s existing buildings, especially large commercial buildings 50,000 square feet and over.

Commerce is planning outreach beginning this summer to local government jurisdictions to learn about their priorities for meeting energy goals, and to facilitate connection and exchange of information within regions of the state. Some common tracking measures may be identified, such as number of community energy plans developed, number of vehicle charging stations installed or solar arrays constructed. Outreach measures may include online webinar discussions, and coordination via government networks.

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