Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces $175,100 Energy Efficiency Grant to UK Extension Service

Press Release Date:  Monday, July 30, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

Karen Wilson
502-564-7192
 


Will support training of extension agents, school teachers

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced a $175,100 grant to the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy education throughout the Commonwealth. The grant is from the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy.

 “The Cooperative Extension Service is an extremely effective communications channel to help Kentuckians learn about the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said Governor Fletcher. “Extension agents have a proven track record of helping families and businesses find practical solutions within their communities.”

“Over the past several years the Cooperative Extension Service and the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy have forged a strong partnership,” said Dr. Jimmy Henning, UK associate dean for extension and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “Kentucky agriculture has a role in energy production and we must help teach our communities how to better use their energy resources. It will improve our rural economies and our environment.”

GOEP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Division Director John Davies presented the grant award to Dr. Jimmy Henning, Associate Dean for Extension and Director of the Cooperative Extension Service; Dr. Carol Hanley, Executive Director, Tracy Farmer Center; and Dr. Rich Gates, Department Chair, Biosystems and Agriculture Engineering at UK’s College of Agriculture.The grant will help support a “circuit rider” extension specialist who will travel across the state promoting ENERGY STAR, an initiative by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy-efficient products and practices.

The circuit rider will appear at more than 50 events including home and garden shows and electric cooperative annual meetings and a large exhibit at the Kentucky State Fair.  The circuit rider will help to educate other extension agents about ENERGY STAR and they, in turn, will take the energy efficiency message to Kentuckians in nearly every county.

In addition, the funding supports UK’s Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment to conduct teacher training on energy efficiency in collaboration with UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research and the Kentucky National Energy Education Project.

“Some elementary and middle school teachers in Kentucky struggle with physical science topics, and none are more elusive than ideas dealing with energy,” said Dr. Carol Hanley, executive director of the Tracy Farmer Center.  “With this grant, we will be able to offer a professional development series for elementary and middle school teachers that lets them explore energy topics alongside Kentucky energy research experts.”

The funding, from the federal State Energy Program grant, will also enable the university to provide renewable energy technical support to GOEP.

Governor Fletcher issued the state's first comprehensive energy strategy in February 2005 (Kentucky's Energy:  Opportunities for our Future).  It contains 54 recommendations to guide the commonwealth's policy-making as it relates to energy.  Among those, the Governor recommended the development of public-private partnerships to promote energy efficiency through education and outreach.  ENERGY STAR has become one of the catalysts to put that recommendation into action.  Governor Fletcher’s comprehensive energy strategy can be found at the GOEP’s Web site: www.energy.ky.gov.

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary, government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.  Kentucky became only the fourth state in the nation to be declared an ENERGY STAR partner by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.   More information about ENERGY STAR can be found at www.energystar.gov.


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PHOTO CUTLINE – GOEP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Division Director John Davies presented the grant award to Dr. Jimmy Henning, Associate Dean for Extension and Director of the Cooperative Extension Service; Dr. Carol Hanley, Executive Director, Tracy Farmer Center;  and Dr. Rich Gates, Department Chair, Biosystems and Agriculture Engineering at UK’s College of Agriculture.