Denver, CO -- With a boost of over half a million dollars from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lewis and Clark County (Mont.) will reduce approximately 800 metric tons per year of greenhouse gases (GHG) – the equivalent of emissions from almost 90,000 gallons of gasoline - by auditing and retrofitting 30 small businesses in the tri-county area. The small business efficiency program will be funded over a two-year period with $655,530 as part of EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities Initiative.
In partnership with Northwestern Energy, Lewis and Clark County will provide free audits of electricity, natural gas and water use and offer rebates and subsidies for retrofits (up to $2000) for companies with an average peak electricity demand of 300 kW. Small businesses located in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson and Broadwater counties will learn about strategies to reduce their energy and water use. The goals of the program are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption, and water use; to reduce costs for small business owners; and to educate owners about the benefits of energy and water efficiency.
“Lewis and Clark County is leading the way when it comes to taking practical, cost-effective steps to address climate change,” said Jim Martin, regional administrator of EPA’s Denver office. “This project is a great example of a community coming together to make enormous strides toward reducing greenhouse gases and simultaneously helping to strengthen the local economy by reducing fixed costs.'
The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy program, which provides technical assistance, tools, and guidance to help state, local, and tribal governments implement policies and programs to mitigate climate change. Today, EPA announced that 22 communities from across the country, including three Indian tribes, will receive $8.3 million in grants to develop local strategies to reduce harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve people’s health. The grants will help communities increase energy efficiency and save consumers money with new practices involving waste management, energy production, and land use management.
The 22 communities are showing their commitment to improve local health and reduce GHG emissions by contributing matching funds and committing to share their lessons learned to help other communities replicate successful projects. Communities selected for the Climate Showcase funds were required to show their ability to achieve ongoing GHG reductions as well as to track, measure, and show progress toward their goals. The new grantees join 25 communities that were awarded funding in 2010.