June 2024 Policy Blog

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Kristen Cheriegate  |  ICAST Policy Analyst


White House Announces Over $12M to Support Local Energy-Saving Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $12.1 million to three states and 14 local governments for the next round of formula grants through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. These projects, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), come from the sixth tranche of formula awards granted to EECBG Program-eligible entities. Since the first awards were announced in October 2023, the program has awarded over $130.5 million to 151 communities. All the awardees can be found here.

California Regulators Reject Efforts to Boost Community Solar Efforts

The California Public Utilities Commission voted 3–1 to reject the “Net Value Billing Tariff” plan, which could have enabled the building of up to eight (8) gigawatts of community solar/battery projects over the coming decades, all of which connected to low-voltage power grids that sell low-cost power to subscribing households, businesses, and organizations. Instead, it ordered the state’s major utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric — to restructure a number of long-running distributed solar programs that have not met their many project goals in the last decade.

New Mexico Finalizing State Match Fund Framework

May saw the conclusion of the public comment period for New Mexico’s new Match Fund. This Fund (House Bill 177) received final approval of the Governor in February 2024. It creates a $75 million funding source for resource-strapped state, tribal, and local entities to draw from in order to provide a funding match in applications for federal programs that require that match. The New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration will administer the Match Fund on a rolling basis, through three different mechanisms:

  • Matching Grant – for eligible entities that require additional funding to meet the minimum match requirement for a federal grant (at least 40% of available funds are reserved for rural, frontier, and tribal governments).
  • Project Implementation Grant – for recipients of a Matching Grant that require capacity funding to fully implement the federally funded project associated with the Matching Grant.
  • Federal Compliance Offset Grant – for eligible entities that demonstrate higher project costs due to compliance with federal funding requirements, such as requirements related to worker wages and sourcing American-made materials.

Update on the Home Energy Rebate Programs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that New York is the first state in the nation to launch their Home Energy Rebates program. This is the first phase of the State’s $158 million Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates program (one of two programs constituting the Home Energy Rebates programs); the funds are woven through New York’s existing EmPower+ program, which serves homeowners and renters with incomes below 80% of their area median. Single-family properties and multifamily properties of up to four units are eligible under the first phase, while later phases will reach larger multifamily buildings and point-of-sale rebates at retailers. (For additional rebate information: The DOE has published an interactiv­­e map that shows states’ progress toward launching their rebate programs.)



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