Last week, the federal government announced that under its Retrofit Ramp-Up grants (part of the ARRA) a slate of selected projects from around the country have been awarded part of an estimated $452 million in funding for energy efficiency retrofits of commercial and residential buildings.
The details of the plan were outlined on April 21 in a speech delivered by Vice President Biden, who began by describing the impact of recent funding of energy efficiency products and projects:
Advanced battery factories in America have expanded from two in 2009, to an estimated 30 by 2015.
* $3.4 billion in government funding spurring an additional $4.7 billion in private investment for the smart grid, “to help get us to a stronger, more efficient, more reliable energy grid”
* $2.3 billion in federal funding, which could leverage $5.4 billion in private capital for wind and solar projects
When discussing the future of renewable energy, Biden spoke specifically about how distributed energy will allow smart storage of renewable energy resources and transmit that energy, to technologies like advanced lighting that help conserve energy.
As for energy efficient retrofits—the purpose of the Retrofit RampUp—Biden pointed out that retrofits have the potential to reduce our annual energy costs at the natal level to more than $21 billion per year.
“Investing in retrofits is a triple win,” says Biden. “It’s a win for consumers who save money on their energy bill. It’s a win for the environment, because we’re using less energy, which cuts down on harmful emissions from greenhouse gases. And, finally, it’s a win for the American economy, because it creates green jobs, jobs that can’t be outsourced.”
So what do you think? We’ve discussed the potential of retrofits many times in the pages of Distributed Energy, often with an emphasis on how revamped HVAC systems and energy management controls can cut energy use—but do you believe these small changes can make a difference? And will distributed energy and onsite power continue to be included in plan for a national smart grid?
The following governments and non-profits were selected for funding:
Retrofit Ramp-Up Awards
The following governments and non-profit organizations have been selected for Retrofit Ramp-Up awards. These projects are planned to begin in fall 2010. Final award amounts are subject to negotiation:
Austin, TX - $10 million
Boulder County, CO - $25 million
Camden, NJ - $5 million
Chicago (IL) Metropolitan Agency for Planning - $25 million
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, OH - $17 million Greensboro, NC - $5 million
Indianapolis, IN - $10 million
Kansas City, MO - $20 million
Los Angeles County, CA - $30 million
Lowell, MS - $5 million
State of Maine - $30 million
State of Maryland - $20 million
State of Michigan - $30 million
State of Missouri - $5 million
Omaha, NE - $10 million
State of New Hampshire - $10 million
New York State Research and Development Authority - $40 million
Philadelphia, PA - $25 million
Phoenix, AZ - $25 million
Portland, OR - $20 million
San Antonio, TX - $10 million
Seattle, WA - $20 million
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance - $20 million
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, OH - $15 million
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation - $20 million
Click here to read the full text of the Vice President’s speech.