The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says a multiyear, peer-reviewed study led by its Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows that the $3.2 billion spent under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program between 2009 and 2015 has spurred significant economic development, energy savings, job creation and carbon emissions reductions.
The EECBG, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act economic stimulus program, operated under the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and provided grants and technical assistance to cities, counties, states, tribal governments and U.S. territories to support a wide variety of energy-efficiency and renewable energy activities.
The study concludes that for every EECBG dollar spent, program participants received $1.76 in bill savings over the lifetime of the measures installed (at a 2.7% discount rate).
Key findings of the report include the following:
- Lifetime energy savings and renewable generation resulting from EECBG investments were 413 million source metric Btus – equivalent to the average amount of energy used for non-transportation applications in about 2.2 million households over a one-year period;
- Lifetime cost-savings were $5.2 billion of total cumulative savings on energy bills; and
- More than 62,900 direct, indirect and induced jobs were created or retained – equivalent to about one job per $36,000 in EECBG dollars invested.
According to the DOE, the evaluation demonstrates that the EECBG was an effective instrument for deploying energy-efficiency and renewable energy technologies and practices. The program helped leverage federal and local funds while educating individuals and organizations about energy-saving opportunities, the agency says.