James City County Awarded Grants For Energy Conservation, Training and Jobs
March 10, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephanie Luton Purchasing Director and Management Resources
Phone: (757) 253-6649
James City County has been awarded over $802,000 from State and Federal grants that will be used to create and retain jobs in energy conservation and help reduce the community’s total energy use. The County intends to develop and expand a pilot program that will transform the energy efficiency and conservation performance of buildings in the community and region through energy conservation education, a revolving loan program that will provide funds for energy audits and retrofits and a training program for local contractors.
The County was awarded $498,625 from the Virginia Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. One hundred and fifty applications were received with the County being one of 26 finalists awarded grant money. The Federal grant of $303,828 was awarded by the Climate Showcase Communities (CSC). James City was one of 450 communities that applied with 25 receiving grants. Applications were developed by the County’s Green Building Roundtable Finance subcommittee, a group represented by elected officials, businesses, local architects, designers and County staff who promote the conservation of natural resources and encourage responsible energy usage for public and private facilities.
The grants will work together with the State grant being used in three areas: establishing a Climate Coordinator position to administer the program and develop a detailed implementation strategy; capitalizing a revolving loan fund for audits and energy efficient retrofits; and developing a training program for local contractors. The plan provides the community with a single point of contact and clearinghouse of information on this topic, seed money for project financing and a channel to develop the local contractor expertise building owners will require.
“These efforts will create and retain jobs in an environmentally sustainable manner and reduce the community’s total energy use. It’s a win-win for the community and the environment,” says County Board of Supervisors member John McGlennon (Jamestown District) and member of the Green Building Roundtable. “It also opens partnership opportunities with regional, State and national initiatives such as the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle’s Local Energy Alliance Partnership (LEAP) and a Program Sponsorship for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Performance with Energy Star program”.
The CSC grant will improve energy performance in residential buildings and supplement on-going neighborhood revitalization efforts in an area of older, primarily low to moderate income homes that currently has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the County. The program will consist of three parts: rehabilitation and energy retrofit to foreclosed homes and resale of these homes; promotion of energy audits and energy retrofits to owner occupied homes,; and public outreach and education efforts highlighting the program’s ability to reduce greenhouse gases through the preservation of affordable housing. The program will be administered by the Office of Housing and Community Development.