Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Press Release - Plan for Investments in New Energy Economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2009


CONTACTS:

Todd Hartman, 303.866.2262, todd.hartman@state.co.us

Myung Oak Kim, 303.947.5708, myung.kim@state.co.us


GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR RECOVERY ACT INVESTMENTS IN COLORADO'S NEW ENERGY ECONOMY


Gov. Bill Ritter and state energy officials today outlined a sweeping plan to create jobs and significantly advance the New Energy Economy under provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


The proposal, submitted for approval to the U.S. Department of Energy this week, lays out how the Governor's Energy Office will direct $49 million from the Act to create jobs, develop clean energy sources, reduce energy costs for residents and cut emissions of greenhouse gases while injecting the state's economy with critical investment that will lead Colorado forward.


"This proposal will further extend the reach of Colorado's expanding New Energy Economy," Gov. Ritter said. "It will boost our clean energy industry and its workforce far beyond the short-term life of the Act and cement Colorado's growing role as a national leader in building a secure energy future. This plan advances our overall strategy of creating jobs, strengthening communities and supporting businesses and innovation."


Details of the proposal are available in a new report, "Governor's Energy Office Strategic Goals and Objectives for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding of the State Energy Program."


The proposal will allocate State Energy Program recovery dollars into seven key areas, including $19 million to reduce financial barriers to rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The funds will increase access to capital and credit and will leverage further investment dollars to assist projects stalled by the economic slowdown.


The state must receive approval from the U.S. Department of Energy for its plan before implementation. Pending approval, the Governor's Energy Office will be soliciting proposals in coming weeks for projects that could be funded by the Recovery Act.


The overarching strategy of the state's recovery plan for the New Energy Economy will focus on three broad areas:


  1. Increasing access to capital for clean energy development and efficiency projects;
  2. Dramatically enhancing access to information for residents and business owners so they can more simply ascertain their options for adopting renewable energy and conservation practices;
  3. Increasing access to services so more options and jobs tied to green energy initiatives are available across Colorado.


Other components of the state's plan include:


  • Bolstering the market for renewable energy through expanded rebates and grants to homeowners and businesses as well as expanded renewable energy workforce training.
  • Expanding energy efficiency programs for homeowners, including more training to support advanced energy codes, energy efficiency in new home construction as well as improving efficiency in existing homes through expansion of programs such as Insulate Colorado, which aids homeowners in upgrades that cut energy consumption.
  • Expanding and improving energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings and increasing implementation of high performance design in new commercial buildings.
  • Improving public outreach so home and business owners can easily identify options and financial incentives to improve energy efficiency and incorporate renewable energy.


"This plan will direct the resources of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in a way that sustains and expands the New Energy Economy, while maximizing job creation and retention," said Tom Plant, director of the Governor's Energy Office. "The ARRA resources give us the opportunity to accelerate Colorado's pace in leading the country to a clean and secure energy future."


The Governor's Energy Office will also guide $80 million in recovery dollars designated by the federal government for weatherization improvements to income-qualified residents of the state. Partnering agencies in Colorado have already begun initial spending to prepare for the major increase in weatherization work that will create jobs across the state and cut energy costs for those who most need the savings.