Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the state.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced more than $16 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding will support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Iowa.

Under DOE's State Energy Program (SEP), states have proposed statewide plans that prioritize energy savings, create or retain jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative, the DOE states, is part of the Obama Administration's national strategy to support job growth, while making a historic down payment on clean energy.

"This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence," Chu said.

“SEP funds will lead to more renewable energy technology for public and community facilities, greater energy efficiency throughout Iowa, and in the process new construction and manufacturing jobs to help us work our way out of the economic recession," said Iowa Governor Culver.

With $16,218,400, Iowa will expand the Building Energy Smart Iowa Program under the Iowa Office of Energy Independence. The program is focused on increasing energy efficiency.

Iowa's plan provides for workforce training and public information projects, with the goal of increasing the state's capacity for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. Iowa plans to make grants of up to $100,000 to public, private and non-profit entities for energy training across the state.

OEI will work with Iowa Workforce Development to monitor projects to be sure they are successful. The DOE’s announcement represents 40 percent of Iowa's funding for the SEP under the Recovery Act. The initial 10 percent of total funding was available to states to support planning activities; the remaining 50 percent of funds will be released when states meet reporting, oversight and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act.

The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to SEP, giving priority to achieving national goals of energy independence while helping to stimulate local economies. States use these grants to address energy priorities and to adopt emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

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