SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Energy has announced $2,909,890 of grant funding available for the development of local strategic energy plans as well as energy efficiency audits and local government building upgrades. Under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG), grant awards ranging from $200,000 to $249,900 will aim to create long-term sustainability and energy reduction roadmaps and reduce energy usage for Illinois municipalities and counties.

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The grant program will invest U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds in energy planning, energy audits, and energy efficiency building upgrades. Municipalities and counties eligible for direct formula funding through the U.S. DOE are not eligible for funding through this state program. Grant applications will undergo a comprehensive, merit-based review. Scoring factors will include funding justification, projects located in environmental justice areas of concern, energy burden, energy/electric service, and partnerships between units of local governments or where projects benefit multiple communities. Application materials are available at the Illinois EPA Office of Energy webpage. The application period closes at 5:00 pm on January 22, 2024.

“Because of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, we’re able to leverage our investments in clean energy like never before,” said Governor JB Pritzker.“Through the utilization of this program, along with initiatives created by the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, our economy will continue to grow, 21st century job creation will increase, and we will be better prepared to face the challenges presented by climate change.”

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“Having an energy or climate action plan, particularly at the local level, goes beyond basic preparation, and we are excited to offer this new program,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim. “Such planning can qualify units of local government for future state or federal funding which can have a substantial long-term, far-reaching impact on local progress, resilience, and adaptability.”

The Illinois EPA will provide a pre-recorded Technical Assistance webinar by December 11, 2023.

The WebEx will be available at: https://epa.illinois.gov/topics/energy/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-conservation-block-grant.html.

The Illinois EPA is investing U.S. DOE IIJA funds in projects across the State that focus on energy efficiency, resiliency, and clean energy technologies specifically in areas of environmental justice concern. For more information about Office of Energy programming, including the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, please visit https://epa.illinois.gov/topics/energy.html or call 217-785-8841.

More information on the U.S. DOE EECBG is available at https://www.energy.gov/infrastructure/articles/doe-iija-congressional-report.

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