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Energy grant money coming to Washington County

December 07, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The city of Hagerstown and a building trade group are getting money from a state energy-efficiency grant program.

The Maryland Energy Administration announced Wednesday that $2 million is being distributed among local government and nonprofit organizations.

Through the grant projects, 1,400 Marylanders in low- or moderate-income households are expected to save 1,800 megawatt-hours of electricity and almost seven million cubic feet of natural gas a year, according to a Maryland Energy Administration news release.

The money comes from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund, “which was created from public auctions of carbon credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” the news release says.

Groups or government bodies in Baltimore City and counties across Maryland received grant money.

The two Washington County recipients were the Hagerstown Light Department and Associated Builders and Contractors.

The Hagerstown Light Department is getting $35,000 to install programmable thermostats in 100 low- or moderate-income homes.

In an e-mail, Michael Spiker, the city’s director of utilities, wrote that his staff submitted a grant request in September, proposing to arrange a contract with a local heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company.

About 100 customers now using standard thermostats to control gas, oil or electric heating and air conditioning would get programmable thermostats, Spiker wrote.

“Depending upon the type of fuel used, the projected savings range from $180 per year for an electric heat pump to $280 per year for a gas unit with electric cooling,” Spiker wrote.

The local chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, a nonprofit organization that runs a training program for building trades, is getting a $35,920 grant.

Joan Warner, president of the chapter, said the money will be used to train students to weatherize houses.

A local veterans’ group will provide the names of four veterans whose homes will be inspected and upgraded for the winter.

Warner said it seemed appropriate to help veterans in the current difficult economy.

Other grants include $216,000 to weatherize homes in Prince George’s County; $193,000 to audit and weatherize homes in Baltimore County; and $91,000 to retrofit senior citizen housing units in Anne Arundel County.

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