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Illinois EPA Awards over $900,000 to Recipients of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program and Releases Third Notice of Funding Opportunity

Courtesy: Illinois Tourism

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Energy is announcing $902,200 in grants to four recipients of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Programs (EECBG) awards from the first round of EECBG Program funding, while also opening a third EECBG Program funding opportunity for a total of $500,000.

The EECBG Program supports municipalities and counties with the development or revision of existing strategic energy or climate action plans. Such plans help prepare local government for future project funding opportunities either offered by the State or Federal government. The first round of EECBG grants included funding for local energy plans and related projects.

The recipients of the first round of EECBG Program funding for energy plans and projects are:
• Jackson County - $249,900
• McLean County - $200,000
• Village of Ford Heights (Cook County) - $212,300
• Village of Lincolnwood (Cook County) - $240,000

The second round of funding, which closed on March 18, and this third round of funding are for the development of energy plans only. A separate funding opportunity will be announced in the near future to specifically fund projects, which include energy efficiency upgrades as identified within Energy Plans (installation of insulation, energy efficiency lighting, HVAC upgrades, weather sealing, retrofit and replacement of windows and doors, etc.). The third round of EECBG Program funding will award grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 to units of local government to assist eligible municipalities or counties in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, reduce total energy use, improve energy efficiency in the transportation sector, and build a clean and equitable energy economy prioritizing disadvantaged communities.

“Illinois EPA is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy to invest in our counties and municipalities as they focus on long-term sustainability and development of local strategic energy and climate action plans,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim. “This funding will benefit our environment long-term as well as local governments through reduced energy needs.”

This competitive grant program invests U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds in energy planning. Municipalities and counties eligible for direct formula funding through the U.S. DOE are not eligible for funding through this state program.

Grant applications for the third round of EECBG Program funding will be scored based on funding justification, projects located in environmental justice areas of concern, energy burden, energy/electric service, and partnerships between local units of governments, organizations, or where planning benefits multiple communities. Application materials are available at the Illinois EPA Office of Energy webpage. The application period closes at 5:00 pm on June 17, 2024.

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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