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Front Page - Friday, December 29, 2017

Chattanooga receives $300,000 to implement energy efficiency projects

The Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund is investing $1.5 million in six Southeastern communities, with Chattanooga receiving $300,000 to implement energy efficiency projects in local neighborhoods. The city was selected from a pool of applicants from across the South.

“We’ll be focusing these funds in four Chattanooga neighborhoods – Highland Park, East Lake, East Chattanooga and Alton Park – while taking steps to increase access to city-managed HOME grants like providing applications in Spanish,” says Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. “This commitment from the Southeast Sustainable Communities Fund will allow residents in these areas to save up to 20 percent per month on their household energy costs.”

The grant funds awarded to Chattanooga will cover work in 2018 and 2019, assisting with streamlining programs and processes to make current energy efficiency programs more accessible to those in need. Additionally, new programs from green|spaces like Build it Green will begin in January.

Modeled on the Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development program in Knoxville, B.I.G. will recruit youth from neighborhoods with high energy consumption rates and teach them basic energy efficiency and construction skills through classes as well as show them how to make simple upgrades to homes in their communities.

The 12-week program also teaches soft skills like community building, money management and career preparation. Participants will receive $10 per hour and be connected with possible employment and higher education opportunities.

Following the success of EPB’s Home Energy Upgrade pilot, the utility will again partner with community members on the potential expansion of this program. EPB will also be working with green spaces, Erlanger, the city and others on a feasibility study for Green and Healthy Homes, a health outcomes-based funding mechanism.

EPB will be working on expanding energy efficiency outreach and supporting workforce development and education initiatives as well.

The SSCF, which selected Chattanooga for the grant, is a partnership between The Kendeda Fund and the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network.

Source: City of Chattanooga