March 23, 2011 - energy grants for schools

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Schools can participate in grant and incentive programs to help them develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  The possibilities are as varied as are the programs, combining federal incentives, state-level programs in most areas, and even utility-specific efficiency programs.  If it puts together a winning application, a school could receive anything from technical assistance to cash to support these projects.

The University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, serves as an example. Last year, the University's Sustainability Office received a $50,000 grant from Efficiency Maine, Maine's one-stop shopping point for energy efficiency efforts.  The University is using the grant to install a solar hot water system, along with a display to monitor the system's performance.  Due to their core mission of education, schools often combine energy efficiency and renewable technologies with educational tools about projects' value and technology.

Across the country, at any given time, a number of open requests for proposals and prescriptive incentives are available to help schools save or harness renewable energy.  Particularly when the economic value of these projects is coupled with their educational value, schools are taking a broader look at their options.

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