An Increase of $1.2 Million...
Energy Office Receives $3.21 Million in Federal Grants

Gov. Mike Johanns said the Nebraska Energy Office received five grants totaling $3.21 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, an increase of $1.03 million over similar grants received last year.

“The increase in federal funding is especially timely because of the state's budget constraints,” Gov. Johanns said. “The more than $1 million increase not only reflects concern over America's energy needs, but reflects well on Nebraska's ability to do a very good job in these areas.”

According to the Governor, three of the five grants received were the result of a national competition for energy efficiency projects. The specifics on the five grants:

  • Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program, $2.52 million; an increase of 50 percent over last year. This program provides no-cost home weatherization for qualified Nebraskans, especially in homes with elderly or children. An estimated 620 homes will be insulated and caulked over the next 12 months with these funds. After the homes are weatherized, energy used for heating should be 18 percent lower.
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  • State Energy Program, $437,000; an increase of 18 percent over last year. These funds are used to support program operations and delivery and to provide consumers and other small users energy efficiency services such as publications, newsletters, energy data and web-based information.

  • Rebuild America, $125,000. This project, in cooperation with Omaha Public Power District and the University of Nebraska, will monitor and analyze energy use in 50 large buildings. If appropriate, the building owners would make efficiency improvements to reduce energy use to qualify for an EnergyStar™ designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Building Codes, $100,000. The agency, in cooperation with the University of Nebraska, will assess present building codes used across the state and analyze building costs and practices. A report based on this work will identify potential changes in the state's building codes.

  • Building America, $29,855. The agency, in conjunction with the Nebraska State Home Builders Association, will provide training for remodelers and homebuilders on how to apply systems engineering approaches, including production techniques, products and technologies, to the construction of high quality energy-efficient homes that use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional homes and cost no more to build
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