TDEC and Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Announce Technical Assistance Opportunity with National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau and Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association (TECA) Executive Vice President and General Manager David Callis announce that Tennessee has been selected as one of six states to participate in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices’ State Policy Retreats on Innovations in Energy Efficiency that aim to reduce energy consumption, stimulate economic demand for local energy-related jobs and services, and lower emissions associated with the generation of electricity in Tennessee.
Under the technical assistance opportunity, TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs and TECA will host an energy efficiency workshop for several of TECA’s members and other State stakeholders to discuss potential financing structures under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). EECLP currently provides funding to rural electric cooperatives and utilities for the purpose of re-lending to businesses and homeowners for energy efficiency activities such as building weatherization, HVAC upgrades, ground source heat pumps, lighting, small scale renewable generation, consumer education and outreach, and energy audits. The workshop will address Tennessee-specific challenges to advance energy efficiency programs in rural cooperatives and will develop tools and strategies for designing and deploying successful energy efficiency financing programs to members.
“Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are committed to improving the lives of their members and the communities they serve. We are privileged to be working with TECA to identify ways to access capital for energy efficiency improvements in Tennessee’s rural communities,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “Energy efficiency improvements result in reduced energy demand and consumption, thereby lowering energy costs for consumers.”
“We’re excited about this joint effort and the agencies that are working with us. The cost of heating and cooling a home can be a burden for low-income, rural Tennesseans, so energy efficiency can do more than make homes more comfortable - it can change lives. These improvements can have long-term impacts for homeowners and the communities where they live," said David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of TECA.
The Tennessee Team will consist of representatives from the Office of Governor Haslam, TDEC, other State agencies, TECA, the USDA Rural Utility Services, Tennessee Valley Authority, Appalachian Voices, and Pathway Lending, a community development financial institution.
About Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Environment and Conservation is committed to protecting and improving the quality of Tennessee’s air, land and water. Department programs and initiatives protect human health and the environment and support economic development and quality of life through education, outreach and effective enforcement of state and federal environmental laws. We are also proud to manage the award-winning Tennessee State Parks system — with 54 state parks hosting more than 25 million visits each year. http://tn.gov/environment/.
About the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association
The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association represents the interests of Tennessee’s 23 electric distribution cooperatives and the 1.1 million rural and suburban consumers they serve. The association publishes The Tennessee Magazine and provides legislative and support services to Tennessee’s electric cooperatives. Learn more at tnelectric.org.
About the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
The NGA Center for Best Practices Environment, Energy & Transportation Division (EET) provides information, research, policy analysis, technical assistance and resource development for governors and their staff in the areas of energy, environment and transportation sectors. The division focuses on several issues, including improving energy efficiency, enhancing the use of both traditional and alternative fuels for electricity and transportation, developing a modern electricity grid, expanding economic development opportunities in the energy sector, protecting and cleaning up the environment, exploring innovative financing mechanisms for energy and infrastructure and developing a transportation system that safely and efficiently moves people and goods. www.nga.org/cms/center/eet.