Energy Office Garners Grants for New Efforts
In April, the state's Energy Office received $550,000 in competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for multi-year efforts to expand the agency's work with commercial businesses, multi-family housing groups and homebuilders to increase energy efficiency in homes and buildings.
Since the discretionary grants began in 1996, the Energy
Office has consistently ranked nationally in the top seven, based on
total funds received by each state. Nationally, nearly $11.04 million
for 98 projects was awarded by the federal energy agency.
New Projects, Same Goals
The three Nebraska projects included continuing work
on previous projects as well as several new efforts:
- Financing Incentives for Increased Energy Efficiency
This $400,000 project expands and continues the
work begun with a 1997 grant that encouraged Nebraskans to
construct more energy-efficient buildings. The new grant will
leverage $400,000 in private funds to finance 750 new homes
constructed 30 percent higher than the 1995 Model Energy Code. Once
the loans are repaid, additional new home loans will be made.
The agency will provide $5,000 in oil overcharge funds to match the federal grant.
- Rebuild Otoe County
This two-year $100,000 project is the third Rebuild America grant the agency has received in as many years.
The grant will enable the River Country Economic Development Corporation in Nebraska City, in cooperation with the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool, the
Nebraska State Historical Society-Preservation Office, Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Development, and the Energy Office to demonstrate that historically significant buildings can be energy efficient.
The agency and its partners are providing $351,220 in matching funds for this project.
- Home Energy Rating System
This $50,000 project is being teamed with $25,000 $15,000 in oil overcharge funds from the Energy Office and $10,000 from federal mortgage lender Fannie Mae to implement a home rating energy system.
A home energy rating system is a measurement of a house's energy efficiency. Rating systems allow buyers to easily compare energy costs for homes being considered. Also, a homeowner can use the energy rating to pinpoint the most cost-effective energy-saving improvements.
A second part of this two-year project involves working with staff in Lincoln's Fannie Mae office to develop reduced cost mortgage loans that utilize the home energy rating system.