Friday, June 14, 2024

Houston awarded $2 million federal grant to enhance power effectivity at municipal buildings – Houston Public Media


Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

Pictured are rooftop photo voltaic panels.

The City of Houston was awarded greater than $2 million in grant funding this week from the US Department of Energy as a part of a nationwide effort to enhance power effectivity and scale back fossil gasoline emissions.

As a part of Houston’s Climate Action Plan adopted in 2020 below former Mayor Sylvester Turner, the town obtained funding to conduct power audits of municipal buildings and make a collection of retrofits, to replace the its power code and strengthen compliance, to ascertain a mortgage fund to finance tasks to keep up and set up photo voltaic panels and battery storage in a municipal facility that serves a group in a poor a part of city . The photo voltaic and battery storage challenge goals to “contribute to an city community of local weather resilience hubs to extend power resilience and coordinate useful resource distribution in throughout extreme climate occasions,” in response to a Wednesday information launch from the Department of Energy.

The workplace of latest Mayor John Whitmire, who has but to stipulate his power and climate-related targets for the town, didn’t remark Thursday on the award or present extra particulars on how and when it is going to be used. the funds. Houston’s present Climate Action Plan is now below the umbrella of the town council’s new Resilience Committee, which has its first assembly scheduled for subsequent Tuesday and is chaired by at-large council member Twila Carter, whose workplace didn’t reply. in a Thursday request for remark.

The grant award is one among 37 introduced by the Department of Energy, with a complete of practically $27 million going to state and municipal governments in addition to a Native American tribe. This is the newest spherical of funding via the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which since October has offered a complete of $118.4 million to 134 communities nationwide.

The total objective, in response to the Department of Energy, is to assist a transition to cleaner power sources and obtain President Joe Biden’s objective of a net-zero emissions economic system by 2050.

“Improvements in power effectivity are a certain method to scale back prices and improve resilience for communities throughout the nation,” stated US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a launch. within the information. “President Biden’s Investing in America agenda equips native governments with the funds to rework clear power plans into actual actions that can ship advantages to each nook of the nation.”

Harris County, which incorporates Houston, beforehand obtained greater than $1.6 million to conduct web site assessments for photo voltaic power and storage services in deprived communities, to deploy a photo voltaic electric-vehicle charging station in a deprived group, to conduct recycling pilot packages and to advertise strolling. and biking to varsities. Montgomery County, which is north of Houston, was beforehand awarded greater than $457,000 to put in LED lights on group sports activities fields.

Port Arthur, which is east of Houston within the Beaumont space, obtained practically $119,000 through the newest spherical of funding to switch practically 4,800 streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights. . Temple, in Central Texas, was awarded greater than $140,000 to put in energy-efficient road lighting whereas creating pedestrian crossings and bicycle lanes to broaden transportation choices.

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