Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham recently announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $12,608,524 to 47 states and three territories for 138 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The department is providing the funding through its State Energy Program Special Projects competitive grants.

"These special energy projects will help conserve energy, provide jobs, increase our national energy security, and reduce the need for new electricity generating plants," Secretary Abraham said. "President Bush's National Energy Policy recognizes the important role states play in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies."

An example of a funded project is the Rebuild America Program, which has already formed more than 450 voluntary community partnerships nationwide to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Rebuild America partnerships are saving school districts, businesses and public agencies up to 30% annually on energy bills. These savings can be put to work for local community priorities such as purchasing educational materials for schools or books for libraries. State energy offices will use these funds to improve the energy efficiency of schools, homes and other buildings; promote energy-efficient industrial technologies; and support renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. Some projects will identify opportunities for distributed energy resources that generate electricity at or near the point of use.

States, territories and the District of Columbia competed for these DOE awards. The awards provide specialized funding in addition to annual "formula" grants given to each state energy office. South Dakota, Oklahoma and the Northern Mariana Islands did not submit applications. Actual award dates will vary, although DOE anticipates making the awards in July and August.