Gov. Jan Brewer announced on Aug. 7 that $10 million in federal stimulus money will be allocated for energy efficiency projects at state-owned buildings.
The $10 million appropriation marks the first commitment of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Arizona’s State Energy Plan, the Governor’s Office announced in a press release. The state is slated to receive a total of $55.4 million for its energy program, which was developed by the Arizona Department of Commerce’s energy office.
“We’re moving swiftly and wisely to invest Arizona’s stimulus dollars into projects that will boost the state’s economy and put more Arizonans back to work,” Brewer stated. “This effort will have lasting impact, providing long-term energy savings for public facilities and agencies, thereby conserving critical taxpayer dollars.”
The program will combine the $10 million in ARRA money with at least $40 million from the private sector to retrofit state buildings, according to Jim Arwood, director of the state energy office. The stimulus dollars will “act as a catalyst leveraging private sector investment in proven industry practices to maximize impact,” according to the press release.
“This approach significantly increases the number of jobs and benefits greenhouse gas reduction while creating more productive work environments, eliminating deferred maintenance concerns and lowering the annual operating maintenance costs for state buildings,” Arwood stated.
The State Energy Plan aims to increase energy efficiency in Arizona schools as well. The ARRA includes $30 million for energy efficiency in schools, which the Governor’s Office said will also be combined with private investment to reduce utility costs by about $15.5 million a year.