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Federal Grant Enables St. Pete To Speed Up Energy Saving Projects

The city of St. Pete just got a little greener thanks to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act designed to encourage municipalities to implement energy saving measures.
 
St. Pete used the money to install new solar panels for water heater systems at the Coliseum and City Hall.
 
“In St. Pete we were doing certain things anyway with the intended goal of reducing our energy consumption,” says Raul Quintana, architect for the City of St. Pete. “It’s something that St. Pete has worked hard to strive towards, even before the grant was provided to us. The funding allowed us to move forward with these initiatives.”
 
A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held at the Coliseum on May 29, however, it was just one of 21 city facilities that had solar water heater systems installed. Other projects include new energy efficient HVAC systems, chiller plant replacement and lighting retrofits with greener fixtures. Altogether these energy plans were part of a $2.38 million project funded through the federal grant. Quintana says the investment will help the city save money in the future by cutting costs.
 
“If we are able to reduce our expenditures, we are able to do other things,” he says. “Any monies that are saved on our operating expenses allow us to use our resources on better projects. Whenever we can save money, it is great for our citizens and great for our community.”
 
Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Raul Quintana, City of St. Pete
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