Monday, May 04, 2009

Lauderhill Gets Federal Energy Block Grant Funds

Under the Federal Stimulus Bill (ARRA), the City of Lauderhill has been award $595,200 for an Energy Block Grant. These funds are to be used for:

* Development of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy and Technical Consultant Services to assist in the development of such a strategy.
* Residential and Commercial Building Energy Audits.
* Financial Incentive Programs and Mechanisms for energy efficiency improvements such as energy savings performance contracting, on-bill financing, and revolving loan funds.
* Grants to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies for the purpose of performing Energy Efficiency Retrofits.
* Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs for Buildings and Facilities.
Development and Implementation of Transportation Programs to conserve energy.
* Building Codes and Inspections to promote building energy efficiency.
* Energy Distribution Technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency, including distributed resources, combined heat and power, and district heating and cooling systems.
* Material Conservation Programs including source reduction, recycling, and recycled content procurement programs that lead to increases in energy efficiency.
* Reduction and Capture of Methane and Greenhouse Gases generated by landfills or similar waste-related sources.
* Energy efficient Traffic Signals and Street Lighting.
* Renewable Energy Technologies on Government Buildings.
* Any Other Appropriate Activity that meets the purposes of the program and is approved by DOE.

The city activities should be prioritized in planning for use of funds as follows:

Energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy programs and projects are building blocks for increased economic vitality, energy security, and environmental quality. EECBG program funds will have maximum impact if invested in ways that create and/or retain jobs and stimulate the economy in the short term while laying the foundation for a long-term and sustainable clean energy economy. DOE encourages grantees to prioritize programs and projects that:

* Leverage other public and private resources.
* Enhance workforce development.
* Persist beyond the funding period.
* Promote energy market transformation such as revolving loans, low-cost loans, energy savings performance contracting, advanced building codes, building and home retrofit incentives and policies, and transportation programs and policies.

Several of these concepts Lauderhill already has implemented. Of the remaining objectives and based upon this information, Lauderhill is considering the following additional strategies that would:

1) Distribute energy efficient CFL bulbs to residents;
2) Provide a Revolving Loan Fund that would provide interest free loans to residents to purchase energy efficient appliances;
3) Provide incentive funding to purchase more fuel efficient or alternate fueled vehicles for the city;
4) Solar Paneling for city buildings;
5) Update City Codes, conduct energy audits and create an Energy Strategy;
6) Install LED lighting on Street Poles;
7) Install more energy efficient air conditioning units in city buildings; and
8) Install energy efficient lighting in city buildings.

It is required that the city must submit a plan no later than June 25, 2009, and the funds must be committed within 18 months. Expenditure of the funds must be within 36 months.

Additionally, there is a competitive energy grant available that Lauderhill is considering applying for in conjunction with other governmental agencies. One of the possible items to apply for special grants could be for Solar Powered LED Street Lighting. At this point, information on applying for that grant has not been released, but discussions are underway.

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