Grant to assist area energy efficiency work

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WALLA WALLA — The Sustainable Living Center has received a $1.1 million grant to continue the energy efficiency work that has helped hundreds of local residents with weatherization upgrades.

The center’s executive director, Russ Martin, announced the grant award this morning. The money comes from Washington State University’s Community Energy Efficiency Program, created by the state Legislature in 2009. WSU manages the funds and provides assistance to eight statewide community-based programs that encourage energy efficiency retrofits and upgrades from home and small-business owners.

The grant will allow the Sustainable Living Center to continue the energy program through May 2013 in Walla Walla, Columbia and Franklin counties, Martin said.

“This is what a great community energy program looks like,” he said in the announcement. “It makes achieving energy efficiency as easy as possible from start to finish and it helps bring jobs to our area. It provides each participating household and business with quality information, offers cash incentives for completing the work, works with reliable local contractors, partners with the local utilities, and al with the guarantee of quality assurance.”

Grant recipients were selected through a competitive process by an independent review committee.

The Sustainable Living Center’s Energy Efficiency pilot effort, which concluded earlier this year, resulted in 680 assessments and 239 completed weatherization upgrades during 2010 and 2011, according to the weatherization program director Dave Dahlin.

The continuation of the funding will allow the program to reach more homes and businesses, Dahlin said in the announcement.

Those interested in learning more should call 524-5218.

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