Governor Markell, DNREC Sec. O’Mara and Mayor Spencer Unveil Energy Efficiency Investments in Newport
NEWPORT – Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara and Mayor Michael Spencer unveiled energy efficiency improvements in Newport at a dedication ceremony held today at the town’s Municipal Building. They were joined by representatives of Delaware’s Congressional Delegation of Senator Tom Carper, Senator Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney, and local contracting and construction companies that installed more than $107,000 in energy efficiency improvements at the town’s Municipal Building and Old Town Hall.
“Newport set out with this project to put Delawareans to work making their government more energy efficient and cost-effective. This event celebrates that successful effort,” Governor Markell said.
The improvements were funded by Delaware’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program made possible with federal stimulus funding (ARRA – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) through the U.S. Department of Energy. Under the program, grants were awarded to municipalities to reduce fossil fuel energy use and lower emissions by generating a portion of their own energy needs with renewable energy sources. Delaware’s EECBG Program is administered through DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate.
“I congratulate the town of Newport for making these energy improvements that will reduce its energy consumption and help its bottom line,” said Senator Carper. “The implementation of these grant awards to improve energy use in our towns will ultimately help our nation reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make less of an impact on our environment.”
“Energy efficiency has enormous potential to change our future — our economic competitiveness, our environmental footprint, our technology, and the world that our children and grandchildren will inherit from us,” Senator Coons said. “I congratulate Newport on the completion of these energy-efficiency improvements, and hope that other municipalities around the state will follow suit. Energy efficiency projects in our communities add up to a much cleaner environment, substantial energy savings, and job creation. That’s the kind of positive formula we need if we intend to make this planet a better place to live for future generations.”
“Investments in green, renewable energy help create jobs, strengthen the economy, and protect our environment for future generations,” said Congressman Carney. “I commend the Town of Newport for recognizing this opportunity to put Delawareans to work and reduce its energy costs while maintaining the same quality services that town businesses and residents have come to expect. These are the kind of innovative ideas that will improve our economy and ensure that we leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.”
The town of Newport was awarded a total of $107,000 in EECBG grant funds. The town made energy efficiency improvements at their Old Town Hall that included new interior storm windows, insulation and a HVAC system and installed a 6 kilowatt, grid-tied solar power system at the Municipal Building that will produce 20 percent of the building’s total energy usage.
According to DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, Newport’s energy efficiency improvements provide significant benefits for the community and the state. “Newport’s energy efficiency improvements will reduce the town’s energy usage by 25 percent, saving the town an estimated $2,000 in energy costs annually and improving Newport’s bottom line, both short and long term,” said Secretary O’Mara. “The Municipal Building’s solar power system provides clean, reliable energy – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and protecting public health.”
“Conserving energy and reducing the costs of heating and cooling our municipal buildings are a win-win for the residents and businesses of Newport,” said Mayor Michael Spencer. “These energy efficiency projects are a great investment that will not only improve the environment, but will help our town with our budget.”
Newport is one of 41 Delaware municipalities statewide that shared $5.46 million in federal EECBG grant funding. Municipalities received grants ranging from $10,000 to $500,000 to make municipal improvements or energy efficiency rebate programs for residents.