Saturday, June 06, 2009

Stimulus Funds to Municipalities for Green Projects

This was a good week for promoting Green and sustainability to Government entities in Rochester New York area. Two conferences presented seminars explaining why Green design is needed to deal with climate change and energy issues.

The stimulus funds from DOE clearly point out the goals for doing projects that save energy or create energy and offer long term benefits. Some funds are given as block grants and require identifying what the community will do with the funds before the money is given. Applications showing list of planned projects is required by June 25th 2009. So what should a smart green community should do?

Look for projects that educate and inform people and start saving money for ever. This will give them funds to do more each year. Example - how about changing all the street or yard lights with LED. Save 75% + energy cost right away. If a Town pays $100,000 per year to the Utility company, they can save $75000 in energy cost and not worry about changing the light bulbs for 15 -20 years. Imagine what they can do with saved money? How about starting a Green loan fund to help commercial industrial companies install similar measures with zero interest loans.

Another example would be installing Green roofs on the government buildings, this would save over 25% in energy cost and extend the life to 40 + years avoiding new roofs needed every 20 years for standard roofs. At the same time the storm water collection can be done and recycle it for non potable water conserving water and reducing storm water flows. These are real practical solutions that have high front end cost but long term benefits. Having the 90 - 100% grant funds can make it possible to do the right things. Let us not build facilities that have no long term energy or water saving benefits. Ideally, the block grant fund recipients will reserve 20% of the funds for Sustainable green strategy planning to collectively identify what is best for their community.

Good luck to the Municipal Leaders to take the Green Steps in every Village, Town and City.
We will be happy to guide any community seeking help and learning about what some communities have done to serve as examples.

Ram
http://www.larsen-engineers.com

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