It may be a winding road when you'd rather get your business on the fast track, but federal funding for energy efficiency programs is already on its way to contractors, via city, state and local government agencies across the U.S.
More than $2.6 billion in grants is now available under the U.S. Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. The program provides the grants to reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions and for improvements in energy efficiency.
Activities eligible for funding under the law that may affect HVAC contractors include grants to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for energy efficient retrofits, as well as projects stemming from funded energy audits of residential and commercial buildings, and the development of energy efficiency and conservation programs for buildings and facilities.
The money is allocated to the states by a population-based formula. Nearly $1.9 billion is available to cities and counties and more than $770 million to states and U.S. territories, plus $54 million to Indian tribes. In addition, the states are required to pass along not less than 60% of their allocations to cities and counties in the state that are not eligible for direct grants.
For example, Minnesota will receive more than $10.6 million, while 23 cities and 10 counties in the state will get direct grants ranging from more that $3.9 million for Minneapolis to $146,000 for Moorhead City.
In similar fashion, 33 cities and ten counties in Ohio will get direct grants ranging from $7.4 million for Columbus to $152,900 for Huber Heights.
Contractors and other individuals can contact their state energy office for information on the individual state's plans for awarding sub grants under the program. A list of state energy officials is available from the National Association of State Energy Officials here.
Get information on the program, eligibility, how the funds may be used and other details here.