FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 9, 2012) — Kentucky has been awarded a grant to assist local government efforts to reduce energy consumption in public facilities.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the State Energy Program (SEP), awarded a three-year, $715,000 grant to the state to conduct energy efficiency upgrades in local government facilities and develop local policies and programs that help reduce energy waste and save taxpayer money.
“The state-led projects announced today will conduct whole-building energy efficiency upgrades in public buildings across the Commonwealth, ultimately saving millions for local governments and creating new local jobs for energy auditors, architects, engineers and construction workers,” said Gov. Steve Beshear.
Only nine states were funded under this competitive SEP grant, which is divided into three categories: whole-building retrofit programs, policy development to increase statewide energy savings, and deployment of a fee-based, self-funded public facilities energy retrofit program.
Through the grant, Kentucky this fall will launch the Local Government Energy Retrofit Program (LGERP). The program is an initiative of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC), Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI), in partnership with the Department for Local Government, Kentucky Association of Counties, Kentucky League of Cities and Kentucky Energy Services Coalition.
The objectives of this program are to: provide training and education to local leaders on options for financing energy efficiency, cost-savings building retrofits through performance contracting; and provide legal and technical assistance to local governments to better negotiate contracts with energy savings performance contracting firms and navigate the procurement process. Performance contracting allows governments to use energy cost savings to pay for building improvements without having to raise taxes. Improvements and energy savings can be implemented in buildings, water or wastewater treatment facilities, or street lighting.
Buildings in the United States last year consumed more than 40 percent of all the energy used by the U.S. economy, according to the DOE.