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Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama Administration Awards $12+ Million for New Mexico's State Energy Program

Press releases about stimulus funds are arriving in bunches right now as more and more of the money gets released. I like to put up some of them so you can get an idea of what's going on with some of the recovery money.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $12.7 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in New Mexico. Under DOE’s State Energy Program, New Mexico proposed a statewide plan that prioritizes energy savings, creates or retains jobs, increases the use of renewable energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This program is part of the Obama Administration’s national strategy to support job growth, while making a historic down payment on clean energy and conservation.

Secretary Chu announced a total of more than $141 million for State Energy Programs in six states and territories states including: Hawaii, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Texas. Each grantee is receiving 40 percent of its total State Energy Program (SEP) funding authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“This funding will provide an important boost for state economies, help to put Americans back to work, and move us toward energy independence," said Secretary Chu in a press release. "It reflects our commitment to support innovative state and local strategies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy while insisting that taxpayer dollars be spent responsibly."

New Mexico will use its Recovery Act funding to implement several energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in buildings and the transportation sector. The state aims to reduce petroleum consumption through various financial incentives to encourage the purchase of new fuel-efficient vehicles, the use of alternative fuels and biofuels, and investments in alternative fuel and biofuel infrastructure.

The state will also direct Recovery Act funding to increase building efficiency. The program includes initiatives to expand residential weatherization assistance to families above the low-income eligibility threshold for the Weatherization Assistance Program, public building energy efficiency retrofits, commercial building audits and renovations, combined heat and power projects in the industrial sector, and the adoption of energy codes. Both the buildings and transportation programs include provisions to educate citizens about energy issues and provide statewide training for professionals in order to reduce energy consumption across residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

With today's announcement, New Mexico will now have received 50 percent of its total Recovery Act SEP funding. The initial 10 percent of total funding was previously available to support planning activities; the remaining 50 percent of funds will be released once it meets reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act. After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive almost $16 million in additional funding, for a total of nearly $32 million.

Activities eligible for State Energy Program funding include energy audits, building retrofits, education and training efforts, transportation programs to increase the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, and new financing mechanisms to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.

The Recovery Act appropriated $3.1 billion to the State Energy Program (SEP) to help promote energy efficiency and clean energy deployment, as well as to support local economic recovery. States use these grants at the state and local level to create green jobs and address state energy priorities.

Transparency and accountability are important priorities for SEP and all Recovery Act projects. Throughout the program’s implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and national level, while emphasizing with states the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies.

July 10, 2009 at 03:20 PM in Energy, Environment, Green Economy, NM Office of Recovery and Reinvestment, Obama Administration | Permalink

Comments

I wonder how much of the 12 million plus went to nuclear and natural gas in this state. I understand that the state needs the income and the jobs.
I just hope that we can phase in green energy as soon as possible.
I hope that NM can become more efficient with all our resources.

It was a hot day but I thought about how my ancestors in Las Cruces practically lived outdoors under the trees in the summer. They had outdoor kitchens and even slept outside. People would sleep through the hottest part of the day.

Posted by: qofdisks | Jul 12, 2009 8:47:47 PM