The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
In February 2009, the 111th United States Congress enacted an economic stimulus package titled "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." The Act is intended to: (1) create and save jobs; (2) jump-start the economy; and, (3) promote economic recovery and growth. The bill appropriates a total $789.5 billion nationwide. The state of Florida is expected to receive approximately $13.5 billion. Due to statutory formula awards, the city anticipates receiving millions of dollars directly, and additional funds through application for competitive grants for which the city is eligible.
Energy Conservation and Community Block Grant Programs
Over $3.2 billion in formula grants are now available nationwide and more specifically, $30.4 million statewide and $2.3 million locally, under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, funded for the first time under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This Program, authorized in Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) and signed into Public Law (PL 110-140) on December 19, 2007, provides funds to units of local and state government, Indian tribes, and territories to develop and implement projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions in their communities. The Program is administered by the Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs (WIP) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The city is actively involved in an initiative coordinating the use of $440,000 in energy efficiency and conservation block grants toward implementing energy conservation measures for not-for-profit facilities located within the City that are: 1) owner-occupied; and 2) favorably responded to a city survey for participation. To date, 27 not-for-profit facilities have qualified for the program. The program provides for energy audits to be performed by Progress Energy, including the identification of possible energy conservation measures with respective payback periods in terms of cost versus energy savings. The City will then provide the equipment and materials necessary to implement the energy conservation measures; the not-for-profit organization is expected to pay for the labor using contractors selected from the City’s Small Business Enterprise Program.
The purpose of this program is to reduce the energy operating costs of not-for-profit organizations by providing them a one-time capital investment, which is subsidized by the federal government, takes advantage of the city’s bulk purchasing power and employs local contractors.