Utah's Energy Office Receives Over $600,000 In Grant Money From U.S. Department Of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development more than $600,000 Tuesday through two competitive grants.
Laura Nelson, the energy adviser to the governor and the executive director of Office of Energy Development, said the office has organized plans for the money.
“We really have elevated the energy conservation in Utah," she said. "We’re honored to have been chosen for these two grants and we’re certainly committed to delivering solid reports and outcomes from the money we receive.”
The first grant was awarded to Utah’s OED for its energy planning proposal. The grant is aimed at creating a multi-state partnership throughout the West to find more efficient energy systems for the region while also looking at the impact on the individual states.
“We had a partnership with three other states – Colorado, Idaho and Montana – and really highlighted the regional significance of this initiative," Nelson said. "So I think that showed good regional engagement, good regional support for that initiative and we do have those partners.”
The second grant will fund local communities and the OED plans to use this money in part to start the Energy Wise Community program, in which Ogden will be the first.
The program is designed to create a targeted energy efficiency and resiliency plan for these communities. The plan has been in the works, but without funding its future was unsure.
“The fundings is what really positioned us to deliver on this local community commitment,” Nelson said.
Governor Gary Herbert released an Energy Action Plan for Utah in May outlining 10 core goals for the state and Nelson said these two grants fulfill goals five and eight from the plan – Continued Improvement in Utah Energy Efficiency Investments and Expanding Regional Engagement.
“Our mission as an office to advance Utah’s energy and also its minerals economy to the benefit of the citizens of Utah," Nelson said. "So that action plan was really meant to capture the deliverables, to realize that mission. So those are two specific goals in the energy action plan that are very much complimented and supported by these two grants.”