Saturday, April 04, 2009

Stimulus funding promotes Green Infrastructure investments

April is the month when we celebrate Earth Day. This year something is very different. It is a special year for earth's sustainability, since it is the first time the Federal Government has taken action to provide MONEY.
Long term solutions require life cycle thinking and most communities do not have the financial resources to invest in solution which costs more capital for implementation. Most innovative ideas- solar cells, LED lights, Green roofs, Geothermal HVAC systems cost more but save in the long run. What holds back is that future savings are in future and present conditions lack funding sources to spend more than traditional choices. Regular light bulbs are cheaper, basic roofs are cheaper, low efficiency furnaces are cheaper, double pane windows are cheaper. The list goes on and we continue to install stuff that costs more to operate.
It was absolutely essential for Federal and State Governments to create a green funding source and provide GRANTS not loan to implement new solutions. The dream has now come true by Obama administration and the new younger generation team. They have set a new climate change agenda and started the journey for " Energy independence". It is starting in April 2009 with green infrastructure funds under the stimulus funding bill.
In New York, the 90% grant application forms were published by EFC on Friday April 3, 2009. Now is the time for all small municipalities to apply for funds and go for the maximum goal of energy and water conservation at their facilities. The local municipal share of 10% can be saved in operations, and the future cost of energy will be reduced for the life of the facilities to help control the taxes. Many educational events will be taking place to get the word out. Time is short to apply, so one needs to move fast.
For New York State municipalities there is an event coming up soon on April 14-16th. The title of this program is "Smarter Management For Small Communities" at Blue Mountain Lake as NYEFC's Minnowbrook Spring Conference. I am excited to be one of the speakers at this event and pan to show how going Green is Smart thing to do.
Ram

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