The U.S. Department of Energy approved a Snohomish County plan Friday to use more than $4.8 million in federal recovery funding for energy efficiency and conservation projects.
The projects will create new jobs, conserve energy and reduce fossil fuel use throughout Snohomish County. The funds come from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program – one of the federal stimulus programs run by the Department of Energy.
“This funding allows us to create new green jobs and conserve energy in our homes, our businesses and along our roads,” Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said. “The community and the environment both benefit from the improvements we’ll be making through these grants.”
The county submitted its application for funding in June. While the largest portion of funding will go toward energy efficiency upgrades at county facilities, new services will help local residents and businesses decrease energy usage.
Funding also will be used to reduce traffic congestion, create solar-charging stations for electric vehicles, establish a “green fleets” automotive internship program and create an energy and sustainability position within the county to coordinate these efforts.
Snohomish County also will use money from the grant for home and business energy audits and for a revolving loan program so that residents can make energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
Projects are expected to begin in January 2010 and could run through December 2012.
For more information on how Snohomish County is using federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, go to www.snoco.org and click on the Snohomish County Recovery link.