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E-News Blast, No. 28, December 14, 2009

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Small Cities and Counties...
Your Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Applications

Attention small cities and counties! Are you filling out your application to receive your ARRA funds? Here are some ways to help make this process a bit more helpful and simplify some of the paperwork. Remember the deadline for cities and counties to submit their application for their EECBG is January 12, 2010.

Please access the solicitations and applications at:

Clarifying EECBG Grant Attachments

Two of the attachments to the EECBG application, Attachments B and E, are Excel workbooks with multiple worksheets.

Attachment B - Direct Purchases, contains two worksheets: "Instructions" (which comes up when opening the attachment) and "Attachment B" which is the sheet to be filled out. Please only fill out the worksheet "Attachment B". The worksheet "Instructions" requires no data input.

Attachment E - Budget Template, contains the two worksheets and an "Instructions" page (front page when opening the attachment), "Category Budget", and "Budget Details". Please fill out ONLY the worksheets "Category Budget" and "Budget Details". The worksheet "Instructions" requires no data input.

To view different worksheets in Excel, click the worksheet tab located in the bottom left corner of the workbook.

How to Expedite & Simplify Your EECBG Application

Cities and counties have options when filling out their block grant application - Energy Efficiency Projects or Direct Equipment Purchase. Here are some recommendations to help expedite your application.

Using the On-Line Calculator for Energy Efficiency Projects

If you are using your EECBG for Energy Efficiency Project, consider using the online calculator. This calculator will determine the cost effectiveness ratio of your projects and not only save time but submitting the completed calculator workbook to the Energy Commission with your application will make reviewing easier and faster.

This calculator is a Microsoft Excel file with three different worksheets. The worksheets "Grant" and "Calculations" explain the calculator, and the bottom part of the worksheet "Calculator" is optional to complete. Do not fill in the top part of the worksheet "Calculator" - it is for example only. Only fill in the white-shaded cells. The yellow-shaded cells will calculate themselves based on the input data.

EECBG Energy Efficiency Calculator - Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for cities and counties to calculate the cost effectiveness ratio for their projects. Posted: 10/12/09. (Excel file, 60 kb)

Using the Direct Equipment Purchases List

For those local jurisdictions planning on using their EECBG funds to make purchase equipment a Direct Equipment Purchase List Cost-Effectiveness Calculation is available to assist in completing the application. This calculation includes lighting (indoor, traffic, parking and street) and mechanical/electric such as fans, boilers, vending machines and efficiency motors, and HVAC replacements (use the new separate Air Conditioner Guide).

Selecting an Air-Conditioning Unit - The Direct Equipment Purchases guide specifies that EECBG recipients can replace low-efficiency HVAC systems with high-efficiency systems. The Air Conditioner Guide provides recommendations on the minimum SEER or EER (energy efficiency ratings for HVAC system) jurisdictions should select based on the type and size of the chosen air conditioner.

Direct Equipment Purchase List Cost-Effectiveness Calculator - Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Posted: 11/04/09. (Excel file, 60 kb)

Air Conditioner Guide - (PDF file, 1 page, 63 kb)

Guide to Replacing 32 Watt T8s with 28 Watt T8s

The Energy Commission recommends converting existing "rapid start" ballasts to "instant start" or "programmed start" ballasts for 28 Watt T8 Lamps.

"Instant start" ballasts consume 1.5 to 2 Watts less per lamp that "rapid start" ballasts and reduce lighting bills for the lamp by about 7 percent compared to other ballasts. Lamps in "instant start" ballast typically last 10,000 to 15,000 switch cycles (turning them on and off).

"Programmed start" ballasts have a lamp lifestyle of 50,000 switch cycles, however, they are wired in series so if one lamp fails, all of the lamps will turn off until the failed lamp is replace. Regardless, "programmed start" ballasts are excellent for motion sensors or intermittently occupied rooms such as copy rooms or conference rooms that frequently have lighting turned on and off.

"Rapid start" ballasts use more electricity that "instant start" ballasts and are wired in a series like "programmed start" ballasts, however they have a lamp switch cycle of 15,000 to 20,000.

Getting a Head-Start on Terms & Conditions

The Energy Commission wants to process the local agencies loan and grant applications and fund their projects as quickly as possible. Once the Energy Commission approves the loan or grant, the funding package is returned to the Applicant for signature. This package includes the Terms and Conditions for state requirements and those necessary to comply with ARRA. To receive the funds, the applicant must agree to the Terms and Conditions and sign the form. Often, an applicant's legal staff is interested in reviewing this document before signature. This slows down the process of getting funds to recipients.

To expedite this process, the Energy Commission recommends that applicants and their legal staff download the terms and conditions that apply to their grant or loan and review them as soon as possible. This provides the Energy Commission staff an opportunity to answer questions from the local jurisdictions and allow pre-review of the Terms and Conditions before the grant or loan package must be signed.

The Terms and Conditions for EECBG, local jurisdiction Block Grants are at: (PDF file)

The Terms and Conditions for ECAA 1 Percent Loans, funded through ARRA are at:

Complying with Federal Requirements

All EECBG grant applications (PON-09-001) must include documentation to verify compliance with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) requirements for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

NEPA - Attachments G and H explain the requirements and provide the forms all EECBG applicants must complete to verify compliance.

Attachment G - EECBG NEPA Compliance Form (Word file).

Attachment H - Environmental Questionnaire (Word file).

NHPA - DOE and the California State Historic Preservation Officer have provided additional guidance on the requirements to Attachment I. All applicants must review and follow the steps included in the NHPA Procedures and submit the required documentation to the Energy Commission verifying compliance with the NHPA.

Attachment I - National Historic Preservation Act Form

The Energy Commission is working with all applicants who may not have fulfilled these revised federal requirements to ensure compliance so the funding can be awarded. In addition, the Energy Commission is working with the DOE and the California State Historic Preservation Officer to simplify these requirements even more.

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