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Stimulus funds allocated for energy efficiency

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.

One comment

  1. E.D. "Rick" Bunger

    Federal Energy Dollars have too many tentacles and only get us deeper into the “Federal Hogtrough”. Why can’t we work within our own State funds and do the things necessary to make us energy efficient. Solar Energy in Arizona has been a “no brainer” for the past 25 years, yet the powers we call our politicians have ignored it for nonsensical issues they can fight over in their air conditioned environments. Our politicians, like the Washington gang, are not worth the salt it would take to blow them away. Three piece suiters, looking out for special interest groups and their own self serving interests.

    Since the migration of East and West Coasters to our State, it has progressively gone downhill. I can remember a time we were self sufficient and relied on no one but ourselves to solve Arizona’s problems. Now we are no different than the liberal States about to go “belly up” and rely on the Federal Government to bail them out. The few true Arizonan’s left in this state are slowly moving elsewhere, to preserve their independent spirit. The “West” is truly dead, Thanks to the New Yorkers and Californians.

    I will retire in 2010 and being a third generation Native Arizonan, I am truly saddened to see the once great state of Arizona, bow down to the Liberal Socialists and become one more “sanctuary state” for all the socialist hog troughers looking for a “better weather state”, to draw their welfare checks from.

    Count me out.

    Rick Bunger

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