City Awarded Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Awarded Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant

Posted: 02/05/2010
In September 2009, the City of Knoxville was awarded $2,012,700 in Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The EECBG grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds the city received, and is commonly referred to as federal stimulus money.

A request for qualifications was issued today for use of $250,000 in EECBG grant funds for third party financing of a solar array on the Knoxville Convention Center pending environmental clearances and DOE approvals. The solar array project is one of seven City of Knoxville Energy & Conservation projects funded by the EECBG.

The six other initiatives include:

$261,182 for three years of salary and benefits of an energy & sustainability program manager who will manage the EECBG grant and all of the city's ongoing energy and sustainability efforts $300,000 for a Green Building Incentive Program that will be used to encourage contractors to build or renovate using energy efficient methods or deploy solar power $200,000 for the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee's Weatherization Program to help the CAC's program to winterize the homes of low-income families and individuals $261,518 will be used to pay for the upfront costs of energy efficiency improvements currently being made to the city's buildings by Ameresco. The $19 million energy conservation program is designed so that the savings generated by the renovations will pay for the costs of installing and maintaining them. $40,000 for contractor training workshops to train builders and developers about building affordable energy efficient housing in Knoxville $700,000 to help start the city's planned curbside recycling program.

In 2007, the City of Knoxville committed to become more energy efficient and established an Energy & Sustainability Task Force charged with developing plans that would help lessen city government's energy usage, costs and emissions.

To further that mission the city has since been named as one of DOE's Solar America Cities; completed an audit of its overall energy usage; negotiated and initiated the ongoing Ameresco contract; will obtain LEED certification on the new downtown transit center at completion; encouraged the construction of energy efficient housing for low-and-moderate income home buyers; replaced its conventional traffic lights with money-saving LED lights, and is currently studying a test case of LED streetlights for performance and energy savings.

"The City is interested in being energy efficient and environmentally responsible because it makes sense both from financial and quality of life standpoints", says Susanna Bass, the City's Sustainability Program Manager. "We want to stretch and leverage existing grant funds while continuing to seek new funding opportunities. With partners like ORNL, UTK, TVA, and KUB, this community has incredible potential to become a national leader in energy conservation." 

For more information on the city's sustainability programs please go to www.knoxvilletn.gov/sustainability.