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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Alaska May Overturn Sarah Palin's Anti-Energy Efficiency Stimulus Package Stance

Former Alaskan Governor Sarah turned down some $28 million in federal funds that would be used to improve energy efficiency of local state, federal and municipal buildings. That now may be overturned, according to Alaskan news outlets.

Politics aside, this is good for Alaskans. It allows municipal utilities to garner extra dollars that can be used to improve their electric utility grid.

Due to the extreme nature of the credit crunch, municipal utilities have been the hardest hit in the energy sector. They've had to put nearly all of their improvement projects on hold while just trying to maintain cash flow and deal with massive debts. The same is true of many municipalities and states as their bond ratings have crashed with the crisis.

Now they can use money that will lower their costs -- and improve productivity. And we'll increase national security by making sure we extract the maximum amount of value from every kilowatthour produced on our own soil -- while ensuring we maintain and increase our reserves of other energy resources.

The energy efficiency stimulus will pay for these types of improvements:
  • Repairs and energy efficiency upgrades to federal, state, and local municipal buildings
  • Upgrades and renovations to Department of Defense facilities
  • Replacement of the aging electric utility grid with a new electronic grid that will allow businesses and residents to take advantage of time-of-day pricing
  • Low income weatherization projects, which allow low-income people to at least save a little on their energy bills and possibly live in greater comfort too
  • Renewable generation projects (wind, solar, etc.)
  • Research into advanced battery technologies, with the intention of having these new technologies manufactured in the United States instead of in China or Japan
  • Education and training for Americans for jobs in the energy sector
  • Investments in public transportation, improvements in water utility infrastructure and more
Some of this is flowing down to the average American too. Look for tax credits on improving furnaces. And as utilities improve the grid, we'll start seeing opportunities that will allow us to lower our home heating and air-conditioning costs.

For some tips on how to save right now, without waiting for the trickle down effect of these stimulus dollars, check out:

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