WASHINGTON, March 26 – More than $10.3 million for Vermont energy efficiency and conservation projects was awarded today, Senator Bernie Sanders announced.
The funds are Vermont’s share of $3.2 billion included in the economic stimulus bill for a Sanders-sponsored Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.
“Helping states, cities and towns go forward with energy efficiency and sustainable energy projects will reduce carbon emissions, lower energy costs and create good-paying jobs,” Sanders said.
The State of Vermont will receive almost $9.6 million for projects to reduce energy use, limit fossil fuel emissions, and improve energy efficiency. In addition, cities and towns will receive funds including $57,900 for Bennington, $56,100 for Brattleboro, $180,200 for Burlington, $71,200 for Colchester, $50,000 for Essex, $50,000 for Essex Junction, $50,000 for Hartford, $50,000 for Milton; $78,900 for Rutland, and $85,500 for South Burlington. More than half of the state’s $9.6 million will be distributed to smaller cities and towns.
Sanders said the grants may be used to update building codes to require construction of energy-efficient homes and businesses, retrofit old buildings with newer technology, experiment with alternative energy, and create incentives for residents to car pool or ride buses.
The block grant program was created under a Sanders provision in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Sanders is a member of the Senate energy committee and chairman of the environment committee’s Green Jobs and New Economy Subcommittee.
Both the bill that created the block grant program and the successful effort to include funds for it in the economic recovery bill that Congress passed on February 13 were supported by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.).
“The block grants are a major investment in energy solutions that will strengthen America’s economy and create jobs at the local level,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The funding will be used for the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies we have – energy efficiency and conservation – which can be deployed immediately. The grants also empower local communities to make strategic investments to meet the nation’s long term clean energy and climate goals.”