Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

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Press Release: $19.6 Million for State Energy Program

OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.
WWW.COLORADO.GOV/GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JULY 20, 2009

CONTACT:
Myung Oak Kim, 303.947.5708, myung.kim@state.co.us
Todd Hartman, 303.866.2262, todd.hartman@state.co.us.


COLORADO SECURES $20M IN RECOVERY FUNDS FOR NEW ENERGY PROJECTS


Gov. Bill Ritter and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced Colorado will receive $19.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Colorado.


The allocation marks the first major Recovery Act infusion funding for Colorado under the DOE's State Energy Program (SEP). The funds will help implement a statewide plan to create and retain jobs, save energy, bolster the use of renewable energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen Colorado's growing New Energy Economy.


SEP projects will expand renewable energy and energy efficiency measures across the state. The Governor's Energy Office will provide a suite of products to remove financial barriers to rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, including offering access to short-term and intermediate low-cost capital to projects in the commercial, residential and industrial sectors.


"This funding will further extend the reach of Colorado's expanding New Energy Economy," Gov. Ritter said. "We intend to direct this money in a way that boosts our clean energy industry and its workforce far beyond the short-term life of the Recovery Act and cements Colorado's growing role as a national leader in building a secure energy future. Our plan will advance our overall strategy of creating jobs, strengthening communities and supporting businesses, innovation and clean-energy technologies."


Thanks to Recovery Act-funded SEP, the state will deploy an Energy Efficiency for Existing Buildings Program to help state agencies, including public schools, reduce energy use and carbon emissions. Colorado will also substantially expand its Renewable Energy Rebates and Grants Program across the residential, commercial and industrial/utility sectors.


Additionally, the Governor's Energy Office (GEO) will promote greater energy efficiency in new and existing homes with programs such as a "whole house tune-up," which will bundle efficiency incentives for homes. The GEO also plans to dramatically enhance access to information for residents and business owners so they can more simply ascertain their options for adopting renewable energy and conservation practices. The GEO plans to begin offering the programs this fall.


Activities eligible for SEP funding include energy audits, building retrofits, education and training efforts, transportation programs to increase the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, and new financing mechanisms to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.


"We have designed a plan to direct Recovery Act investments 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. "These resources give us the opportunity to further build up the New Energy Economy and accelerate Colorado's pace in leading the country to a clean and secure energy future."


With today's announcement, Colorado will receive 40 percent of its total State Energy Program (SEP) funding authorized under the Recovery Act, bringing its allocation so far to 50 percent of its total Recovery Act SEP funding. The initial 10 percent of total funding was previously available to support planning activities; the remaining 50 percent will be released once the state meets reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act. After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive over $24 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $49 million.


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


In addition, the GEO will direct more than $9 million in Recovery Act dollars designated for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants. That funding will be directed toward projects designed to improve efficiency and access to renewable resources in the state's smaller population centers.


For more information about the Recovery Act in Colorado, visit www.colorado.gov/recovery.