On February 17, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) into law. The comprehensive economic stimulus legislation provides nearly $800 billion in new spending for a variety of programs and activities designed to spur economic development and job growth. Moreover, the economic stimulus bill substantially increases funding for existing and new energy programs and initiatives.
ARRA contains over $37 billion in federal funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and a host of other clean energy initiatives. These initiatives are also supported with about $20 billion in energy-related tax credits, energy bonds and other favorable tax incentives. New funding and energy-related tax credits present California and the California Energy Commission and its stakeholders and citizens with an opportunity to lay the foundation for economic recovery and a more secure and cleaner energy future.
With the signing of ARRA, the Energy Commission is expected to receive nearly $300 million in federal funding for the State Energy Program (SEP) and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Programs (EECBG). Funds from these two programs will support efforts to promote conservation, increase energy efficiency and expand renewable energy in California.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working on guidelines for the distribution and use of the SEP and EECBG funds. Release of the federal guidelines is imminent, and we are very interested in working with DOE, state agencies, and our energy stakeholders to ensure we get the money out quickly to stimulate economic activity and create the foundation for long-term sustainable growth.
The Energy Commission has launched a new website page devoted to ARRA activities at:http://www.energy.ca.gov/recovery/
The site provides timely information about economic and energy stimulus activities and how you can stay informed and participate in upcoming workshops. I encourage you to visit the site and invite you to participate in future stakeholder meetings and workshops that will be announced soon.
California Energy Commission
For more information:http://www.energy.ca.gov/recovery/
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