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.
More information available at the Low-Income Weatherization
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
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 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