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TDEC Pushes Energy Efficiency Projects for Local Gov’ts, Housing Authorities

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation; August 28, 2014:

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced the launch of a new program to provide education, outreach and technical assistance to local jurisdictions and public housing authorities to support implementation of energy efficiency and energy management projects.

With a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs and its subrecipient grantee, expert energy efficiency consultancy group Clean Energy Solutions, Inc., will educate local officials on the benefits of energy efficiency and provide technical assistance on cost-effective energy efficiency measures, such as: building audits and reviews; requests for proposals or requests for qualifications to scope energy efficiency improvement projects; collaborating with energy service companies; benchmarking energy and water usage; measurement and verification of energy savings; and procurement and contracting assistance.

The program will explore major financing options to support energy efficiency improvements, such as energy performance contracting, utility incentives, and utility bill repayments. Other financing options may be identified during the grant period, which currently runs through early 2016.

“TDEC is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with local government and public housing authority partners in an effort to promote energy efficiency in the State’s harder to reach sectors,” said Commissioner Martineau. “We thank the U.S. Department of Energy for providing the funding for TDEC and its partners to provide often-needed technical consultation and support at the local level.”

Tennessee was one of sixteen states to receive a competitive U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program 2013 award overall and just one of six states to receive an award in the “Public Buildings Retrofit” category. Additional information on the State Energy Program 2013 is available at http://energy.gov/eere/wipo/sep-2013-competitive-solicitation.

The program is available at no cost to local jurisdictions, including city and county governments, and public housing authorities in the State of Tennessee through January 2016. Interested agencies are encouraged to contact Luke Gebhard, Senior Program Manager of TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs, at 615-741-2994 or luke.gebhard@tn.gov.

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Press Releases

State Energy Efficiency Projects to Cost $5.25M in First Year

Press Release from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; Jan. 11, 2012:

Projects Benefit Both the Environment and Bottom Line

Nashville – Tennessee Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey, Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau and General Services Commissioner Steven G. Cates today announced a series of energy efficiency projects in state government, as well as the new Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program. The state projects, as well projects for other public and private entities that will be funded through the grant program, are designed to both increase cost savings and decrease emissions.

“Increasing energy efficiency in state government will help us be even better stewards of both taxpayer dollars and our environment,” Haslam said. “These projects will benefit Tennesseans on both fronts, and I look forward to implementing additional projects as we move forward.”

Funding for the projects comes from an April 2011 Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Under the Consent Decree, Tennessee will receive $26.4 million over five years to fund clean air programs in the state – at approximately $5.25 million per year. In the first year, $2.25 million will go to fund air quality grants for local governments, municipalities, utilities, other organizations and private entities. The remaining $3 million will fund energy efficiency projects in state government. The first round of state projects was announced today:

· Nissan LEAF Purchases – Tennessee will purchase five Nissan LEAF electric vehicles for the state fleet and will add two charging stations. The cars have zero emissions and are made in Tennessee. Replacing five motor pool vehicles with the electric LEAFs for urban travel will substantially reduce the emissions that can cause adverse health conditions due to air quality non-attainment. Replacing a conventional vehicle with an electric vehicle in a metro area reduces volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide by 100 percent, sulfur oxides by 75 percent, nitrogen oxides by 69 percent and particulates by 31 percent.

· Tennessee Tower Window Film – The Department of General Services will add reflective film to all exterior windows in the Tennessee Tower to reduce solar radiant heat gain, thereby reducing HVAC energy consumption and increasing occupant comfort. The upfront cost for the window film is $610,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $362,000, the project is expected to pay for itself in less than two years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,451 metric tons per year. The Tennessee Tower was built in 1970, and is the largest state building in Tennessee.

· TDEC Nashville Environmental Field Office HVAC – TDEC will test, adjust and balance the existing HVAC system at its Nashville Environmental Field Office to correct deficiencies and optimize energy usage. The upfront cost for the project is $39,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $11,100, the project is expected to pay for itself in approximately 3.5 years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 metric tons per year.

· Fall Creek Falls Inn – Tennessee State Parks will work with Tennessee Tech to install a heat recovery water heater system at the Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn and Conference center in Pikeville. A heat recovery water heater utilizes a dual cycle heat pump to scavenge heat from a recirculating chilled water loop to heat hot water, while simultaneously providing additional chilled water capacity. The upfront cost for the project is $150,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $73,205, the project is expected to pay for itself in about two years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 245 metric tons per year.

· Fall Creek Falls Cabins – Tennessee State Parks will convert 30 cabins to utilize geothermal energy at a rate of 10 cabins per year over three years. The upfront cost to convert all 30 cabins is $600,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $88,552, the total project is expected to pay for itself in just over 6.5 years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 676 metric tons per year.

“In prioritizing projects, we looked at cost of implementation, energy savings and emissions reductions,” said Martineau. “We will continue to work with the Department of General Services to look for projects that maximize energy efficiency within state government, and I hope that others outside of state government will take part in the grant program so we can spread these benefits even further.”

“We focus on the environmentally conscious design, construction, maintenance and operation of all state assets,” said Cates. “By making intelligent choices today, we prepare our state for a greener tomorrow.”

In addition to the state government projects, the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program will provide financial assistance to local governments, utility districts and private businesses and organizations in Tennessee for a variety of projects using innovative technology to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Eligible categories include:

· Cleaner Alternative Energy – biomass, geothermal, solar, wind

· Energy Conservation – lighting, HVAC improvements, improved fuel efficiency, insulation, idling minimization

· Air Quality Improvement – reduction in greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, hazardous air pollutants

A total of $2.25 million will be available in the first round of grants. The maximum grant amount per project is $250,000. Grant applications are available on TDEC’s website at www.tn.gov/environment/energygrants and will be accepted until March 30, 2012. Recipients are expected to be announced by mid-May.