Wednesday, September 30, 2009  

Energy Secretary Announces $34 million for Colorado

DENVER—Colorado will get more than $34 million in federal stimulus money for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Wednesday.

Of the total, $9.5 million will be used to expand the Renewable Energy Rebates and Grants Program, Chu said. The other $24.6 million will go to the State Energy Program.

The projects will reduce energy consumption and carbon pollution, and create green jobs across the state, Chu said.

“This funding will allow Colorado to make major investments in energy solutions that will strengthen America’s economy and create jobs at the state and local level,” he said. “It will also promote some of the cheapest, cleanest and most reliable energy technologies we have—energy efficiency and conservation—which can be deployed immediately.”

Gov. Bill Ritter said the funding will help Colorado achieve its Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent against 2005 levels by 2020, and by 80 percent by 2050.

Part of the money will be used for rebates that will reimburse homeowners for a portion of the cost of activities such as energy audits or the installation of attic insulation, air sealing, duct sealing, and high-efficiency furnace replacements.

It will also be used for incentives for residents and businesses that use onsite renewable energy technology, particularly home heating systems, and the state will also offer $400 rebates for the purchase and installation of efficient biomass-burning stoves that can make use of the state’s wood-pellet resource.

The money will also be used for programs to help state agencies, including public schools, reduce their energy use and carbon emissions. The state says it will promote greater energy efficiency in new and existing homes with programs such as a “whole house tune up” that bundles efficiency incentives.

By Steven K. Paulson, Associated Press Writer, September 30, 2009.

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