US offers $250m for energy efficiency upgrades in homes and businesses

States can apply to establish loan funds to invest in energy audits and energy saving upgrades and retrofits of residential and commercial buildings

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Fresh funding totalling $250 million (£211m) to support the installation of energy efficient measures across homes and businesses in the US has been announced.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is accepting applications from all 50 states, five US territories and the District of Columbia to enable them to establish revolving loan funds to invest in energy audits and energy saving upgrades and retrofits of residential and commercial buildings.

A revolving loan fund is an “evergreen” source of funding for energy efficiency and clean energy projects as money received from repaid loans is continuously recycled as loans for additional projects.

In addition to providing loans for audits and upgrades, states can use up to one quarter of the funding from the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalisation Grant Programme for grants and technical assistance to help low income homeowners and small businesses.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said: “Energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective and easiest to deploy solutions we have to combat climate change and reduce energy costs.

“By expanding access to energy efficiency upgrades for American families and small to medium-sized businesses, we will generate energy savings and deliver cleaner air, helping states and historically underserved communities experience the broad benefits of energy efficiency.”