Recently, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that the United States Department of Energy approved the State Energy Plan (SEP) for Illinois which will make over $100 million in federal recovery funding available for energy grants in Illinois. On August 20, 2009, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity set forth guidelines for individuals and businesses who may wish to obtain such energy grants.
Programs under which businesses and individuals can apply for energy grants include: Renewable Energy Production, Community Renewable Energy, Green Industry Business Development, Green Roof Grants, Electric Energy Efficiency Program for Public Facilities, Thermal Efficiency Program for Public Facilities, Large Customer Energy Efficiency, and Next Generation Biofuels Production. Each of the programs has a different application and criteria for obtaining an energy grant. All applications for such energy grants must be submitted by either October 1, 2009 or October 26, 2009 depending on the energy grant program, although if interested in an energy grant, we advise applying as soon as possible. Evaluation criteria for the various programs include, but are not limited to, items such as application quality, capability of the applicant to complete the project, feasibility of the project, economic development and job creation, potential for energy savings, costeffectiveness, and potential for greenhouse gas emission reductions. Additionally, there are certain restrictions on eligibility for energy grants, including, but not limited to, type of business, proposed use of energy grant funds, and population of the city in which the proposed project is located.