Friday, February 6, 2009

SEEA Launches Energy Efficiency Competition for Cities in the Southeast

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) from cities and counties in the Southeast to compete for up to $500,000 to create and implement a community energy alliance. The program design is largely based on efforts underway in Cambridge, Mass., Cincinnati, Ohio, New York, N.Y. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This competition is open to cities and counties in SEEA's 11-state region of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The RFP is available for download at www.seealliance.org.

"We are creating a five- to seven-year campaign to achieve unprecedented gas, electricity and water savings by retrofitting homes and other buildings and installing efficient and renewable technologies in homes, businesses, schools and industry," said Ben Taube, SEEA executive director. "When implemented, the program will work toward the goal of saving participants in the winning city 20-40 percent on energy and water bills."

Due on May 15, 2009, proposals will be reviewed by an advisory panel of national experts using criteria such as: the depth of community involvement and support; comprehensiveness of the plan, including program design, milestones, and demonstrated understanding of the community's market and energy characteristics; reasonableness of project objectives; and innovation in program design, marketing strategy, technology focus, and financing options. The winning city will be announced on June 20, 2009.

"This program will have a special impact, setting in motion the replication of a national model that has already been recognized for its unique design and potential of making it easy for consumers to save money and energy," continued Taube. "The winning city will make possible unprecedented levels of energy efficiency, create jobs and significantly reduce its carbon footprint."

Additionally, cities applying for the SEEA award will be able to transfer their energy efficiency program initiatives to other funding opportunities such as the economic stimulus packages currently before Congress which include a variety of energy incentive programs such as loan guarantees for energy performance contracts, funding for state government building retrofits, and energy efficiency block grants to cities and counties.

"We are helping to give cities in the Southeast an advantage over those in other regions," said Ben Taube, Executive Director for SEEA. "When Congress passes the stimulus package, cities can expect billions of dollars to help their residents reduce their energy use. This competition gives cities a program plan to efficiently, quickly and fairly allocate those funds."

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