EECBG Evaluation Description

high efficiency roof top unitsThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is sponsoring a national evaluation to measure the key outcomes achieved by its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program during the 2009 through 2011 program years.  The EECBG Program, funded for the first time by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009, represents a Presidential priority to deploy inexpensive, clean, and reliable energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies across the country. The Program, authorized in Title V, Subtitle E of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) and signed into law on December 19, 2007, is modeled after the Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Formula component of the EECBG Program provides approximately $2.7 billion in grants to about 2,350 cities, counties, states, territories, and Indian tribes. solar water heater










Grants can be used for energy efficiency and conservation efforts communitywide, as well as renewable energy installations on government buildings. Activities eligible for use of funds include the following:

  • Building energy audits and retrofits, including weatherization
  • Financial incentives for energy efficiency such as energy savings performance contracting, on-bill financing, and revolving loan funds
  • Development of an energy efficiency and conservation strategy
  • Installation of distributed energy technologies including combined heat and power and district heating and cooling systems
  • Installation of renewable energy technologies on government buildings
  • Transportation activities to conserve energy and support renewable fuel infrastructure
  • Installation of energy-efficient traffic signals and street lighting
  • Reduction and capture of greenhouse gas emissions generated by landfills or similar waste-related sources
  • Material conservation activities including source reduction, recycling, and recycled content procurement efforts
  • Building code development, implementation, and inspections
  • Any other appropriate activity that meets the purposes of the Program and is approved by DOE

A scope of work, prepared by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was reviewed by a Peer Review Panel of evaluation experts, following DOE’s recommended peer review procedures.  The scope of work was modified to reflect the Panel’s recommendations.  ORNL then issued a competitive solicitation, and a team of independent evaluators, led by KEMA, Inc., was selected to perform the evaluation.

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As designed, the evaluation will quantify achievements for three key outcomes: (1) energy and cost savings; (2) gross carbon emission reductions; and (3) net job creation.  Because EECBG-funded activities often receive additional support from other sources, an essential component of this evaluation will be to estimate the proportion of outcomes attributable to EECBG itself.  The evaluation will also identify factors influencing performance, such as: specific design, implementation, operational, technical assistance, and market factors.

wind turbinesThe individual Activities performed by EECBG grant recipients fall into 14 Broad Program Areas (BPAs), or 14 types of Activities.  This evaluation will focus exclusively on the six BPAs that constitute 80% of all EECBG funding (Table 1).  A sample of 350 Activities will be selected for evaluation. 

Table 1. Top Six BPAs receiving 80% of funding

Energy Efficiency Retrofits

Financial Incentives

Buildings and Facilities


Onsite Renewable Technology

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy

A final report documenting the evaluation is expected in Spring 2015.

Contact: Colleen Rizy is the ORNL Principal Investigator for this project.