The US Conference of Mayors met in San Francisco to discuss how California cities are advancing energy efficiency through federal funding. Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Cathy Zoi from the US Department of Energy spoke about how block grants promote green projects and in turn provide jobs.
$2.8 billion goes directly to cities and towns through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, benefiting 215 cities and 13 counties in California. Some examples of projects are lighting efficiency and community facility retrofits. Zoi said there are 4,000 projects underway this summer from the program.
Cities can apply for the funds and then go through a bid process, whereby they send out a request for proposal for residential retrofits, for example. San Rafael Mayor Richard Landis said his city applied for funding for an already approved grant, and 24 hours later had the cash in hand.