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Wilson to receive $433,000 for energy efficiency improvements

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From Post staff reports

Wilson County is to receive $433,300 in Federal Recovery Act funding for investments in energy efficiency and conservation.

The funding was announced Thursday by 5th District U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper.

Cooper noted the block grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would create jobs statewide and would help lead Tennessee toward a future of energy independence. Cooper said the funds for Wilson County were part of more than $42.2 million in Recovery Act monies released yesterday by the Obama administration for Tennessee.

“We can certainly use it,” said Wilson County Mayor Robert Dedman. “We’ll put it to good use. We’re just glad to get what we can get.”

The funding will support energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements, according to a news release from Vice President Joe Biden’s office.

In addition, other activities that are eligible for use of grant funds are transportation programs that conserve energy, projects to reduce and capture methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, renewable energy installations on government buildings, energy efficient traffic signals and street lights, deployment of Combined Heat and Power and district heating and cooling systems and others.

“As we work to get the economy moving again, America needs to invest in national priorities like energy independence and green jobs,” Cooper said. “These Recovery Act funds will help Tennessee families, businesses and governments use energy more efficiently. They will save Tennesseans money and reduce our dependence on harmful energy sources. And most importantly, they will put Tennesseans back to work on projects that will lead to a stronger economic future.

“President Obama and Secretary (Steven) Chu have gotten these funds moving quickly, and now we must use them wisely,” Cooper added. “I appreciate their efforts, and Vice President Biden’s assurance that he will provide close oversight so our recovery money isn’t wasted. Every penny matters, particularly in tough times.” Chu is secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The release from the Vice President’s office noted that recipients of the grants are required to report the number of jobs created or retained, energy saved, renewable energy capacity installed, greenhouse gas emissions reduced and funds leveraged. The funding is based on a formula that accounts for population and energy use.

For more information, visit www.energy.gov/recovery/. For more information about the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, visit http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/wip/block_grnats.cfm.

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