INDIANAPOLIS (March 20, 2009) - Governor Mitch Daniels today said the state's plan to use nearly $132 million in federal stimulus funding for energy conservation efforts that are 11 times the current annual program will be submitted to the federal government in the next few days.
"In using federal stimulus dollars, our template is speed, jobs, and lasting value. In the conservation context, that means helping as many low-income Hoosiers as fast as possible while permanently reducing state energy consumption by the equivalent of one small power plant every 10 years," said Daniels.
Here are the features of the state's plan:
- Maximize energy conservation by lowering energy costs for as many Hoosier homes as possible. Energy savings per household are estimated by the federal government at 30 percent. (Energy audits of the existing Indiana energy conservation program show savings of around 15 percent for electric and 20 percent for natural gas.)
- Reaching the governor's goal of a 20 percent to 30 percent reduction in energy consumed by each home would result in average savings of $15 to $25 per month.
- Permanently reduce the state's energy consumption. Avoid future energy use of 25MW per year, equal to one small power plant every 10 years.
- Indiana will receive $131.8 million in stimulus funding for energy conservation (weatherization) efforts. When this new effort and existing programs are combined, the state program will be 11 times the total of all current annual weatherization programs, which will continue.
- Funding will come in two increments of 50 percent from the U.S. Department of Energy. The first funding will be available upon approval of the state plan, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy by April 1, 2009.
- States are required to use the Weatherization Assistance Program funds by September 30, 2010. With a focus on speed, Indiana will work to complete its conservation activities as soon as possible and well before the federal deadline.
- The state's conservation program will fund at least 2,300 jobs.
- 300 energy assessment and inspection workers will be trained, and about 2,000 energy contractors will be needed to complete the energy-savings home work.
Program and participation
- More than 30,000 low-income households will receive assistance. Participation will be from among those who have already qualified for the state's Energy Assistance Program. This will reduce the opportunity for favoritism or fraud, which is of significant concern to the federal government.
- Participants must be at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Priority will be given to elderly and disabled residents and families with children. Eligible households will be notified.
- Up to $5,000 per household energy conservation expenditure, beginning with an energy audit, and followed by installation of energy savings equipment such as programmable thermostats, LED lighting, insulation, caulking or even new furnaces or hot water heaters.
- To serve more homes and maximize support of Indiana businesses, a state quantity purchasing plan will be used to purchase materials in bulk using the state's Buy Indiana initiative, to the extent allowable by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act legislation
- The state will issue a Request for Proposals the week of March 23 for the first 50 percent of the energy conservation funds. Bids will be sought from qualified non-profit entities such as Community Action Programs, Rural Electric Membership Corporations (REMC) and the Indiana Builders Association, to administer the funds and ensure that work is begun quickly and completed as soon as possible.
- Respondents will be required to demonstrate how efficiently the funds will be used and how many Hoosier households will be helped. Contracts will be performance based and respondents will be measured on how much conservation is achieved per dollar spent: the faster and more efficiently work is done and conservation is achieved, the more dollars a contractor will be awarded.
Transparency and oversight
- Oversight, transparency and accountability will be strict. The federal government has targeted this program for audits nationwide based on concerns about fraud and waste.
- Additional controls such as criminal background checks, legal status checks on workers, and quality assurance reviews will be incorporated.
Audio from today's media availability can be found at this address: http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Audio/032009_Media_Availability.mp3
For updated information regarding Indiana's use of federal stimulus funds, please visit: INvest.in.gov
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