Wednesday, March 24, 2010

$1 Million to Start Regional Loan Fund For Energy-Saving Measures

February 3, 2010

Riley Awards $1 Million to Start Regional Loan Fund For Energy-Saving Measures

MONTGOMERY— Gov. Bob Riley has awarded a $1 million economic stimulus grant to help businesses and governments in five central Alabama counties make upgrades that save energy and cut utility costs.

The grant, awarded to the St. Clair County Commission, will start the Regional Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund for Bibb, Blount, Chilton, St. Clair and Walker counties. Low-interest loans made through the fund will help local governments and businesses finance energy-saving improvements to their facilities. Utility-bill savings can then be used to repay the loan.

“Increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings is a good investment for taxpayers, Alabama businesses and the environment,” Riley said. “The projects made possible by this cooperative financing effort will pay huge dividends for many years to come.”

Projects eligible for loans include purchase and installation of energy-efficient equipment, windows and doors; installation and use of renewable energy technologies; and projects that reduce environmental waste.

St. Clair County officials estimate that 10-20 loans will be made from the initial funding with more financing available as loans are repaid. The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham will administer the loan fund.

Riley awarded the grant as part of $9.6 million in grants to be awarded under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. The program helps governments and nonprofit groups improve the energy efficiency of buildings and vehicles, reduce fossil fuel emissions and create or retain jobs.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the award from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

St. Clair County is serving as the chief fiscal agent for the grant. Riley notified Stan Batemon, chairman of the St. Clair County Commission, that the grant had been approved.

Contact: Mike Presley, Larry Childers
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