Obama Proposes Energy Program Modeled on 'Race to the Top'

As part of his plan for greater energy efficiency across the U.S., President Barack Obama proposed a competitive grant program to help states cut waste.

by / April 10, 2013
AP/Charles Dharapak

As part of his outline for greater energy efficiency across the United States, President Barack Obama proposed Wednesday a competitive grant program for states in his FY 2014 budget, in a bid to cut energy waste and incentivize energy efficiency.

The budget sets aside $200 million for the program, which would be modeled on Race To The Top, the administration's education reform initiative that has pumped more than $4 billion into states and school districts. Under that program, state and local officials submit applications that detail how they would achieve broad goals set by the White House, and the administration then selects winners to receive funding.

Under the president's newly proposed program, one-time funding would pay for a variety of energy initiatives, including updating utility regulations to encourage energy-saving practices like combining heat and power supplies; improving the performance of the energy grid; and making data more available and more easily shareable for consumers and across systems.

No other details -- such as when the application period would begin or when the funding would be available -- were immediately available from the White House. More information likely will become available when the Energy Department's full budget is released.

The initiative is part of a broader energy plan that includes $2 billion for research into alternative technologies and an earlier pledge of Obama's to double the amount of renewable energy produced in the United States.

"After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future," the president said last month when he first announced the programs. "Few pieces of business are more important for us than getting our energy future right."

This story was originally published at GOVERNING.com

AP Photo by Charles Dharapak

Dylan Scott, Governing

Dylan Scott (@DylanLScott) graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in 2010. While there, he won an Associated Press award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series of stories on the university’s structural deficit. He then worked at the Las Vegas Sun and Center for Education Reform before joining Governing. He has reported on the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Affordable Care Act and various education reform movements in state and local government. When out of the office, Dylan spends his time watching classic films and reading fantasy fiction (most recently: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin).