Office of Energy Policy
Kentucky To Receive Federal Grant to Increase Energy Efficiency in New Construction

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, September 27, 2006  
Contact Information:  Chris Gilligan
(502) 564-4270

Energy Office to Partner with University of Kentucky and KCTCS for Education Project

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky is receiving a grant from the United States’ Department of Energy (DOE) to help teach builders and the public about the benefits of energy efficient buildings.

The commonwealth will partner with the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture to develop a program curriculum and the Cooperative Extension Service to help spread awareness of energy efficient buildings to the public, specifically homeowners. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will also help curriculum development and training.

The application was for $485,731. A final award amount will be determined after the DOE negotiates and signs a final project agreement with the state. The University of Kentucky will also add an additional $140,933. The grand total of the project could be as high as $626,664 pending final contract negotiations with DOE.

“This grant will help make Kentucky a leader in providing our citizens with better homes and buildings through education and technology,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “The grant will also help increase energy efficiency and result in healthier, more sustainable houses and buildings.”

The goal of the program is to provide information and training so that builders, students studying construction skills and homeowners learn the importance and value of making residential and commercial buildings more energy efficient, productive, and affordable. The grant will allow Kentucky to develop recommendations and to share this knowledge with professionals from other states, such as Tennessee and West Virginia, in the same climate zone. The program will put Kentucky on the cutting edge of energy efficient building technology and will be a model for other states to follow.

“Simply put, this grant will help us educate builders, both current and those learning the trade, how to make houses and offices more energy efficient through better building practices and technologies,” said the executive director of Kentucky’s Office of Energy Policy Talina Mathews.

The UK College of Agriculture and its department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering plan to contribute more than $140,000 worth of faculty time and project expenses.  UK Cooperative Extension specialists and agents will conduct public education programs to help spread awareness of energy efficient buildings.

“We congratulate the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy for this well-deserved federal award which recognizes its leadership role in the state,” said Nancy Cox, associate dean for research in the UK College of Agriculture. “The College has a strong partnership with KOEP in striving to advance energy efficiency technologies and we pledge our support in helping Kentuckians benefit in terms of saving energy costs and accessing buildings that use energy more efficiently.”

Kentucky’s grant is part of $6 million that the DOE awarded to fund 22 federal-state partnerships that will create innovative initiatives to increase energy savings in residential and commercial buildings.  These state partnership grants will help implement training programs, and provide technical assistance and education that will ultimately result in the construction of more energy-efficient buildings.

Our nation's 81 million buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy, including transportation and industry. Fortunately, the opportunities to reduce building energy use—and the associated environmental impacts—are significant.

Energy-efficient buildings are better buildings. They use less energy, cost less to operate, and improve comfort. They help the environment and our nation, improving our energy security as well as the everyday lives of Americans.