Taking Advantage of Stimulus Dollars

Taking Advantage of Stimulus Dollars

Taking Advantage of Stimulus Dollars. I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.

With President Obama’s stimulus dollars starting to roll into states there are a number of opportunities for ag producers, business owners and local residents to take advantage of clean energy technology. Tony Usibelli, Division Director Energy Policy with Washington’s Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development says there are three pots of stimulus dollars.

USIBELLI: One of those pots is for low income weatherization and that is about $60-million dollars and that will be used to expand the network of low income weatherization programs in the state so it’s very much what it says it is and that’s going into residences for low income folks and caulking and weather stripping and doing tests on how the houses are performing and improving the energy efficiency of those homes.

That can result in a 20 to 30% improvement in a homes energy efficiency.

USIBELLI: A second block of funding comes predominately to the local governments and this is about $56-million dollars of which 46 goes directly to the larger cities and counties. And that’s a new program created by U.S. Department of Energy a couple of years ago and this is the first time it has been funded. And that program can be used for a whole range of energy efficiency activities by cities and by counties.

Many cities are using this funding for projects like adding solar panels to city buildings. Usibelli says the final pot of funding is the state energy program.

USIBELLI: Which is just under $61-million dollars and that’s to be used for energy efficiency and conservation. So it can be used for everything from weatherizing middle income homes to helping to defray the cost of a bio-energy facility and everything in between.

The range of projects is pretty broad that the funding can be used for.

USIBELLI: It can only be used for efficiency and limited renewables but within that the range is pretty broad. Cities and counties can use it for a whole range of – for example go in and change out their traffic lights from incandescent to LED, 90% energy savings there. They could do insulation. It even allows some things around efficiency planning, hiring staff to operate buildings more efficiently those kinds of things. Then of course all these pieces have the overall intent of the recovery act which is to create jobs and then for energy it’s to save energy or produce clean energy.

For additional information on clean energy, visit harvestcleanenergy.org. That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.



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