Home » Office for the Blind awarded $600,000 Green Bank of Ky loan

Office for the Blind awarded $600,000 Green Bank of Ky loan

Loan will provide energy efficient upgrades at McDowell Rehabilitation Center

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2011) – Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson  announced a nearly $600,000 loan has been awarded to the Kentucky Office for the Blind from the Green Bank of Kentucky program to implement energy efficiency and conservation measures at the Charles W. McDowell Rehabilitation Center in Louisville.

“By partnering with the Green Bank of Kentucky program, the Office for the Blind will save valuable dollars on energy costs that can be directed to more critical needs and will help enhance the learning experience of its students at the McDowell Center,” said Lt. Governor Abramson. “During this tough economy when money for building upgrades is often not available, the Green Bank helps state agencies save valuable dollars and improve their efficiency, while also creating jobs by means of education, engineering analyses and building improvements.”

The Charles W. McDowell Rehabilitation Center assists individuals who are blind and visually impaired in achieving their educational, vocational and independent living goals.

The McDowell Center will use the $599,785 loan to implement several capital investments to make the facility more energy efficient and cost effective to operate. Key updates include a high efficiency boiler; state-of-the-art HVAC controls; upgrades to lighting fixtures and gas and water meters; and the installation of a dishwasher system that will use less hot water and no longer require outside ventilation.

Combined, these and other energy-saving measures will cut the McDowell Center’s annual energy consumption by approximately 40 percent. The money saved through resulting reductions in energy and utility costs will be used to repay the loan.

“The Kentucky Green Bank loan will help the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet make needed energy-saving and cost-saving improvements to the Office for the Blind McDowell Rehabilitation Center that will pay off in a multitude of ways for years to come,” said Secretary Joseph U. Meyer. “Having the low-cost loan program within state government benefits not only our cabinet and our customers but also the state as a whole. In addition, Green Bank made the paperwork and process very streamlined and efficient.”

The Green Bank of Kentucky revolving loan program has been nationally recognized for its innovative use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding to finance energy-efficient improvements in state buildings, where the savings are guaranteed and used to repay the loan. In this way, the financing program’s capital will be revolving and available for additional future loans that will also be repaid from money saved from the reduction of energy costs

Since Gov. Steve Beshear announced the launch of the Green Bank of Kentucky in September 2009, the program has financed nine projects for a total of $14.4 million. Green Bank is administered by the Finance and Administration Cabinet through a partnership with the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Department for Energy Development and Independence.

“Green Bank has been hailed as a role model to other states for implementing progressive changes that will have a positive, long-lasting impact on our environment and will also save tax dollars,” said Lori H. Flanery, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet. “Loans help retrofit aging state and local facilities overdue for energy upgrades and, once the Green Bank loan has been repaid, all further savings will contribute to each facility’s general budget indefinitely.”

The Green Bank emerged from Beshear’s comprehensive energy plan, Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future, which established the goal of reducing projected statewide energy demand by 25 percent by 2025.

“We are now beginning to see results of Recovery funding. These projects will retain jobs, save energy and reduce harmful emissions,” said Len Peters, secretary of Energy and Environment Cabinet. “The Green Bank of Kentucky enables state agencies to improve the condition and operation of their buildings in a smart and effective manner.”