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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stimulus funds would help residents, city, businesses save energy

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Milwaukee businesses and residents would benefit from loan programs the city is proposing to develop over the next year to help reduce energy bills.

The City of Milwaukee submitted its proposals for spending $5.8 million in energy-efficiency block grants as part of the federal stimulus package.

The city was given an indication of how much money it will receive but needed to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Energy detailing how the funds would be spent, said Jodie Tabak, spokeswoman for Mayor Tom Barrett.

In an application submitted late last month, the city unveiled plans to boost energy efficiency of city-owned buildings and launch a revolving loan fund to help homeowners and businesses reduce energy use and save on utility bills. The city could also use some funds to add more hybrids to the city fleet, the city's application says.

Nearly $1.5 million would be spent on the residential program, known as Milwaukee Energy Efficiency or ME2, to help homeowners afford the upfront costs of energy-saving upgrades.

Under the city's plan, the revolving loan fund would help finance projects to replace old furnaces or make homes airtight through air sealing and insulation. Homeowners would then pay back the fund through regular installments.

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