U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $204 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in ten states, including Washington and Arizona. Under DOE’s State Energy Program (“SEP”), states have proposed plans that promote energy savings, create or retain renewable energy jobs, increase the use of renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These ten states have now received 50% of their total SEP funds and will get the remaining 50% provided that they meet reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones.

The Recovery Act appropriates a total of $3.1 billion to the SEP. Eligible categories include energy audits, building retrofits, education and training programs, increased use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, among others. Besides encouraging technology innovation, DOE intends that the funds be used for activities that promote new jobs and stimulate the local economy.

My colleagues are blogging on the other 8 states that received funds today. Here is a summary of how the monies will be used in Arizona and Washington:

Arizona plans to initiate a series of novel programs aimed at providing support for local renewable energy manufacturers and products. Arizona plans to create a revolving loan program for small business owners who are looking for funds to improve the use of energy or install solar projects at their facilities, and to manufacturers of renewable energy or energy efficiency equipment and technologies.  After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, Arizona will be granted an additional $27 million, for a total of $55 million.

Washington will use its Recovery Act funds for two major programs: the Community-Wide Urban Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency Program and the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Loans and Grants Program Fund. Under these programs, Washington funds will be allocated to energy efficiency improvements and home weatherization, agricultural energy assessments, green job creation and to the development of a clean energy state policy. After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, Washington will receive the other 50% of SEP monies of $30 million for a total of over $60 million.