Ritter announces $10 million energy initiative

Program will allocate funds for energy conservation, economic development and climate efforts

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— Gov. Bill Ritter added another plank to his "New Energy Economy" platform today in Steamboat Springs.

During his keynote address at the 86th annual conference of the Colorado Municipal League, taking place at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel and the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, Ritter announced the $10 million New Energy Communities Initiative, designed to help communities with the "greening" of public facilities, downtowns and homes. Through a partnership with the Governor's Energy Office and the state Department of Local Affairs, the initiative will allocate at least five energy impact grants - of a maximum of $2 million - to regional efforts to improve energy efficiency and sustainable communities.

"The New Energy Communities Initiative will reward local governments working collaboratively to position their communities at the forefront of the state's New Energy Economy," Ritter said. "This program is a great example of state agencies pooling resources to improve the livability in Colorado's communities."

According to a statement from Ritter's office, the initiative will "assist partnerships among counties, municipalities, school districts and other local governments to upgrade, retrofit or develop energy efficient public facilities," along with providing technical and financial resources for downtown revitalization projects. The initiative's third focus is helping local governments educate homeowners about energy efficiency upgrades and adopt building codes with higher efficiency standards.

Interested applicants can contact the state Department of Local Affairs by July 18 at: www.dola.colorado.gov/NewEnergyCommunities, for application assistance. The projected application deadline is Sept. 19.

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