An environmental resource for East Tennessee Businesses

February 2015 Archives

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This year the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program wants to spend more than $2 million in East Tennessee on its program to help deliver technology and economic opportunity to the rural parts of the country.

"It will be the most that we've ever had as far as funding we've actually got to spend," said Dan Beasley, director of business and cooperative programs for USDA Rural Development in a recent interview with Business Journal reporter Larisa Brass.

Last year the office had only 23 applications for the program, which provides up to 24 percent of project costs in grants and up to 75 percent in loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects to rural small businesses and agriculture-based businesses in either rural or urban settings. For more information on applications, see the USDA's Tennessee state page.

Projects in 14 East Tennessee counties have utilitized the program, including Holden Nursery in Mascot.

The owners used funding from the REAP program, along with TVA's Green Power Providers incentives, to install a solar generating system on their property.

Owner Kim Holden says the system pays for the company's electric bill and can produce far more in the summer.



The city of Knoxville, in partnership with other local organizations, seeks to improve area residents' energy efficiency in their homes as well as area schools and municipal buildings as part of a nationwide competition.

The goal is to win Georgetown University's $5 million Energy Prize.

The city is on track to improve its efficiency, says Brian Blackmon, project manager for the city of Knoxville's sustainability office, in a recent interview with Business Journal reporter Larisa Brass.

For residential users small changes like programmable thermostats and installing efficient light bulbs are recommended.

KUB will track overall residential energy usage for the program and has plans to launch a new program, Round It Up, which will round customers bills up to the nearest dollar and donate the extra to Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee to provide energy efficiency upgrades for low-income families.

TVA's new program, eScore, will provide free energy audits to homeowners with rebates available for recommended improvements.

Other partners include Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the University of Tennessee, the Alliance to Save Energy, Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light, Harvey Broome Group (Sierra Club) and Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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