Video: Columbus Lands Energy Efficiency Award

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COLUMBUS, Miss., September 1, 2015 – Tennessee Valley Authority has selected Columbus as a second round award winner to receive $1.67 million in Extreme Energy Makeovers project funding towards improving the energy efficiency of homes in low-income areas of Columbus.

A project team led the application process to receive the TVA grant as a collaborative partnership between the City of Columbus and Columbus Light and Water. The project team also includes CLEAResult, a national company that offers cost-effective energy efficiency programs and services to help utilities, businesses and homeowners save energy.

“We are excited about this opportunity,” said Mayor Robert Smith, Sr. “Many deserving families in Columbus will benefit from this award as a result of energy efficiency improvements, which will help lower their utility bills.”

Homes that are at least 20 years old and located in certain low-income areas of Columbus will be eligible to apply for the Extreme Energy Makeovers project, which focuses on energy improvements. The project’s goal is to achieve a 25 percent reduction in each home’s electric energy use through cost- effective, whole-home retrofits, with an estimated total project lifetime energy savings of nearly 9,000 megawatt-hours.

“This grant builds well on the prior work the City and Columbus Light and Water has been engaged in to provide energy efficiency and home improvements to the community in need,” said City Planner/Community Development Director Christina Berry. “This program will create cost savings allowing the homeowners to put money towards everyday needs where they need it most.”

The project team applied for this funding as part of TVA’s Smart Communities program, which seeks to improve the quality, comfort and affordability of center-city homes through energy efficiency. The Utility Commission for Columbus Light and Water approved a $150,000 matching grant to enhance the application and invest into the project.

“We have enjoyed a successful working relationship with TVA and its local power companies since 2008,” said CLEAResult Business Development Senior Director Bruce Teal. “And we look forward to working with Columbus Light and Water to help its customers in this capacity.”

The project takes a community approach towards improving the quality of life for residents and homeowners by increasing the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. This will be achieved by such measures as improving the home’s insulation, upgrading the heating and cooling systems and other technologies within the home, performing audits before and after improvements are made to determine the energy savings, as well as educating the residents or homeowners about the preferred operation and proper care of the home and its systems.

“We have many customers who need assistance with their utility bills due to inadequate energy efficiencies often found in older homes,” said CL&W General Manager Todd Gale. “The funding from this project will allow approximately 125 homes in low-income communities to receive energy improvement upgrades and help our customers with the greatest need.”

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