Guide to Local Recovery Update: Feb. 15

Feb 15, 2023

Over 200 cities in California are eligible for a noncompetitive energy block grant if they submit an application. The federal Climate Program Office is accepting applications for an applied research program that helps improve climate adaptation plans in vulnerable communities. Also, the National League of Cities is holding a webinar on equitable economic mobility.

Your city could be eligible for this key energy block grant

The U.S. Department of Energy is accepting applications for its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The formula grant program supports initiatives that reduce fossil fuel emissions, decrease total energy use, and improve energy efficiency. Over 200 cities in California are eligible for funding.

Although formula grants are noncompetitive, cities must apply to receive the funding. The minimum pre-award amount is $76,170, but most cities are set to receive more than $150,000. All eligible entities must complete a pre-award application sheet by April 28 to receive funding. Matching funds are not required.

Cities that do not meet the criteria for the formula funds are eligible to apply for $8.8 million in competitive EECBG grants. Cal Cities will share information about that process as it is released.

Unlike previous versions of the program, funding can now be used for renewable energy, zero-emission transportation, and energy efficiency projects. The National League of Cities released an overview of potentially eligible projects, relevant resources, and other funding opportunities that can be leveraged alongside the program.

The program also has an optional voucher program for communities that receive less than $250,000. Instead of receiving the formula grant, the value can be exchanged for technical assistance or as an equipment rebate.

The Energy Department has an online portal with extensive application information, administrative guidelines, energy use strategy templates, and upcoming webinars.

$3.6 million to help improve local climate adaptation plans

The U.S. Climate Program Office is accepting applications for its Climate Adaptation Partnerships Program, formerly known as RISA. The program supports collaborative research and community engagement projects that improve climate adaptation planning and action in the communities most affected by climate change.

The program specifically funds projects that generate new, locally relevant knowledge and strategies to reduce risks from flooding and wildfire. It also tests the scalability and feasibility of various climate adaptation programs.

Funding is available for three subprograms: Each focuses on a different, climate change-driven risk. Applications are due March 29. Applicants are strongly encouraged to support the principles of “justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion” when writing their proposals.

Equitable economic mobility webinar

The National League of Cities is holding a Feb. 28 webinar on equitable economic mobility. When cities help increase economic mobility, everyone benefits. Residents can achieve increased income, educational attainment, better access to physical and mental health care, and more. Cities benefit from increased revenue, greater public safety, and stronger local economies.

During the webinar, city officials will learn about the roles and levers that local municipalities can use to increase mobility and how Charleston, South Carolina, is working to advance the economic mobility of its residents.

City officials looking for additional information about the American Rescue Plan Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, or additional recovery tools can visit the Cal Cities Guide to Local Recovery portal.