The U.S. State Energy Program (SEP), established by Congress 30 years ago, is the only cost-shared program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that provides resources directly to the states. A bipartisan-supported program, SEP provides complete discretion and deference to the nation's governors in the use of SEP funds within a broad statutory framework set forth by Congress.  States set their priorities for use of SEP funds on activities such as planning for and responding to energy emergencies resulting from natural and man-made disasters; assisting small businesses and manufacturers in reducing energy costs to improve competitiveness and create jobs; aiding farms and rural homeowners in developing homegrown energy solutions to lower energy costs; and supporting local governments in retrofitting schools, police stations, and other public facilities to reduce utility bills paid by taxpayers. Congress appropriated $62.5 million for the U.S. State Energy Program in FY'20, an increase from $55 million in FY'18 and FY'19 and $50 million in the previous years. One of NASEO's top priorities is informing Congress and the Administration about the value of the U.S. State Energy Program and the states’ use of these funds.


Each $1 of SEP federal funds is associated with annual savings of 1.03 million source BTUs and energy cost savings of $7.22


Each $1 of SEP federal funds is typically leveraged by $10.71 of state and private (non-federal) funds


The State Energy Offices, at the direction of their governors, manage strategic programs to support the private sector in increasing efficiency, developing domestic and renewable sources, promoting economic development, delivering emergency planning and response, and reducing imported oil reliance.  

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory evaluation of SEP projects highlights the benefits and opportunities of SEP.  ORNL found that  in just one year  the states produced the following results under SEP:

  • 15,264 energy audits of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings performed
  • 12,896 buildings retrofitted to be more energy efficient
  • 92,488 energy-efficient LED traffic lights installed
  • 6,434 alternative fuel vehicles purchased or converted
  • $30,403,388 in loans made and $12,345,608 in grants extended
  • 604,050 students educated on energy efficiency
  • 78 energy emergency plan elements developed


SEP Basics

Contact: David Terry