SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Energy has announced a second round of grant funding with $2 million available for the development of local strategic energy plans. Under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG), grant awards ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 will assist eligible municipalities or counties in implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce total energy use, improve energy efficiency in the transportation sector, and build a clean and equitable energy economy prioritizing disadvantaged communities.

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The grant program will invest 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 will undergo a comprehensive, merit-based review. Scoring factors will include: funding justification, projects located in environmental justice areas of concern, energy burden, energy/electric service, and partnerships between local units of governments 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 March 18, 2024.

“Investment is needed in local planning that focuses on sustainable innovation, resilience, and adaptability. Such investments will strengthen local communities, boost economies, protect our environment, and transition toward a clean energy future,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim. “Illinois EPA is proud to offer this funding opportunity to help jump start planning or help update and move existing plans forward.”

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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