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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Notes on the Obama Stimulus Plan - Sustainable Energy

Thanks to the BCA for their invitation to talk at the meeting today.

First some quick links you need:

To use renewable energy responsibly and economically you must first conserve energy, then make sure you're not wasting energy. That means reducing or reusing energy, and using passive thermal and day-lighting techniques to conserve. In San Diego we need about $2-BILLION to retrofit all our homes and commercial buildings with radiant barriers, building envelopes, new windows, pressure testing, new insulation, new low-energy HVAC and weatherizing. This would save us so much energy that we could STOP BUILDING POWER PLANTS, and this efficiency and conservation MUST BE DONE BEFORE INSTALLING DISTRIBUTED RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION.

But we are NOT GETTING $2-BILLION for such work. We will get a limited amount for government buildings. $412 Million in Weatherization Funding and Energy Efficiency Grants for California

The State Energy Program of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Project of the U.S. Dept. of Energy - Will this program expand?

DOE - Weatherization Assistance Program - $8-Billion The Weatherization Assistance Program will allow an average investment of up to $6,500 per home in energy efficiency upgrades and will be available for families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level - or about $44,000 a year for a family of four. By STATE

Energy-related issues are a cornerstone of the newly-enacted “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” stimulus package. The signed bill allocates funding for cities to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within their jurisdictions. It also authorizes funds for weatherization, transportation energy, transmission, green jobs and other energy programs in an effort to stimulate green infrastructure and a green economy. Combined with direct funding for their activities, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) division will receive a total of $16.8 billion to implement energy saving rebates, grants, programs and research projects.

California cities will benefit from the $3.2 billion allocated to fund the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG), which were signed into law in 2007, but have not received funding to date. Of this amount, the 10 most populous California municipalities will apply for funds with the DOE and the remaining smaller cities will apply through the California Energy Commission (CEC) for their share. Funded programs will include development of energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies, energy audits and incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements, as well as building code improvements and education programs. The DOE will oversee this process through the EERE.

In addition, the stimulus bill will provide $5 billion in funding for low-income weatherization programs. Measures eligible for funding include building envelope, heating and cooling system, electrical system, appliance and other energy efficiency improvements. The income eligibility cap will also be raised to allow for more widespread implementation of weatherization projects.

The act also stipulates that $3.1 billion of EERE funds will go toward the State Energy Program for additional grants not matched with state funds, but the act applies to states that intend to adopt strict building energy codes and provide utility incentives for energy efficiency measures. An additional $500 million is allocated to the Department of Labor to train for green jobs to staff these projects.

The bill also addresses improvements to California’s aging transmission systems. It allocates $4.5 billion toward worker training and a transmission resource needs assessment associated with a “smart grid” program. It directs $2 billion toward grants for the manufacturing of advanced battery systems and components within the United States, as well as the development of supporting software for transportation energy. Another $300 million will support an Alternative Fueled Vehicles Pilot Grant Program, and $300 million will support rebates for energy efficient appliances, while also supporting the DOE's efforts under the Energy Star Program.

For those curious about SEMPRA ENERGY's plan for the new $1.9-BILLION SUNRISE POWERLINK, paid for by YOUR TAXES.
(see online movie A QUESTION OF POWER)

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