DATE: April 8, 2010
CONTACT: Nancy Gassman, Natural Resources Administrator
Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
Broward County government learned Monday that it will be the recipient of $1.24 million in federal stimulus funding from the state of Florida as part of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. The national goals of this grant program include reducing fossil fuel emissions, reducing the total energy use of the applicants, and improving the energy efficiency in buildings and in transportation.
The Florida Energy and Climate Commission within the Executive Office of the Governor, who administers the EECBG program funds through special funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, met on Monday, April 5, 2010, to review staff recommendations on the 167 total applications in two grant categories focused on energy efficiency initiatives.
"This is good for Broward County's economy and environment. This money will finance programs that will reduce carbon emissions, develop green programs and partnerships and at the same time create jobs," said Broward County Mayor Ken Keechl.
Two-thirds ($12.4 million) of the available grant funds was made available on a competitive basis to eligible local governments who had not received funding directly from DOE last spring. Of the 69 applications received under this category, 13 received funding. Broward County's application for $1.24 million, titled Climate, Energy and Sustainability Program, was ranked fourth.
Proposed activities include supporting an Energy/Climate Program, development of a climate change element to Broward County's comprehensive plan, implementation of a countywide urban reforestation program; establishing a residential/commercial rebate on energy efficient devices; a public outreach campaign, including energy efficiency and transit ridership in partnership with the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization; a solar energy education pilot in partnership with the School Board of Broward County; and a training program for building professionals and residents on energy efficient construction practices.
"Broward County is a leader in implementing energy efficiency initiatives and climate strategies," said Commissioner Kristin Jacobs. "These funds from the Florida Energy and Climate Commission allow us to continue our objectives and further our ability to provide the residents of Broward County a comprehensive sustainability program." Commissioner Jacobs also serves as chair of Broward County's Climate Change Task Force.
In addition to increasing energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption and reduced energy costs, another important aspect of the state's energy program is to create new jobs and increase productivity to spur economic growth. The grant funding will support four new positions within Broward County government and is estimated to generate a total of 15.5 jobs in Broward County. The funding will also help support activities included in the Broward County Climate Change Action Plan due to be considered for approval by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners at 11:30 a.m. on May 4.
Broward County was not the sole local recipient of funding. The City of Dania Beach received $250,000 in Category 1 funds for a solar street lighting project. Of the 98 applications received under Category 2 ($6.3 million) dedicated to assist small counties and cities, The Town of Pembroke Park (Town Hall Photovoltaic System) and the City of Lighthouse Point (Green Technology Sport Field Lighting Retrofit) also received funding.
For more information contact Nancy J. Gassman, Ph.D., Natural Resources Administrator, 954-519-1295.