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State Energy Conservation Office Programs

Texas Cool Schools: helps taxpayer-funded K-12 schools lower their operating costs by purchasing new and more energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The first round of the program will award about $25 million in grants ranging from $100,000 to $2 million, using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The second round of the program will be available in 2012 and will feature smaller grant amounts, up to $100,000. Please sign up to receive Funding and Incentives e-mail updates about the 2012 Texas Cool Schools program when it becomes available.

LoanSTAR Revolving Loan Program: has saved taxpayers more than $385 million through energy-efficiency projects for state agencies, institutions of higher education, school districts, county hospitals and local governments. Borrowers repay loans through cost savings generated by the projects. LoanSTAR-funded projects have also prevented the release of 9,644 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 3.0 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 6,807 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2).

Texas Building Energy Code ensures that new facilities are designed and built with energy efficiency and water conservation in mind. Projects include administration and maintenance of the Energy and Water Conservation Standards for new state buildings and major renovation projects. This program also provides education and outreach on residential and commercial energy codes statewide. The goal is to demonstrate the clear benefits of energy codes and standards in improving the quality of life, the environment and the safety and health of communities.

Schools/Local Government Energy Program: has helped more than 3,500 schools and other units of local government set up and maintain effective energy-efficiency programs. SECO provides facility preliminary energy assessments, energy management training workshops, technical support in designing new facilities and on-site training for student energy awareness projects. Clean energy technologies are demonstrated at public facilities and school districts to increase awareness and address air quality at the community level.

Energy Education Program: promotes energy conservation and efficiency through education. The program strives to lay the foundation for environmental stewardship in teachers and students through critical-thinking and problem-solving investigations in Texas Education Agency approved workshops. The program also supports fuel cell technical training curriculum development at the college level.

Innovative Energy Demonstration Program: promotes the use of renewable energy and sustainable building practices through technology demonstration, hands-on instruction and renewable energy education. Renewable energy has significant economic, security and reliability benefits and opportunities for Texas communities and individuals as they develop and use these resources.

Alternative Fuels Program: demonstrates the positive environmental impact, technical feasibility and energy efficiency of domestically-produced alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuels Program is designed to assist state agencies, school districts, local government and private fleets to operate more of their fleets on alternative fuels. Initiatives include support for the Clean Cities Program, Clean School Bus USA Program, Mechanics Education Outreach and Air Quality Demonstration Projects.

Pollution Mitigation Program: assists political subdivisions in 41 urban counties to reduce electric consumption in their facilities by implementing cost-effective energy-efficiency projects. SECO provides technical support and guidance through the Texas Energy Partnership, a joint initiative involving SECO, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Energy Star®. Information, planning tools and electronic reporting are offered at the Texas Energy Partnership web site.

Pantex Program: The Pantex Nuclear Weapons plant, located in Carson County, is responsible for assembling and disassembling nuclear weapons. The U.S. Department of Energy funds the Texas Agreement in Principle, which SECO has administered since 1990. SECO contracts with a variety of state and local governments to ensure that human health and safety, and the environment, are protected around the plant. The Pantex Program also administers a DOE grant to train local emergency responders along routes that have shipments of radioactive waste going to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, and eventually shipments of spent fuel tentatively scheduled to go to Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Texas Industrial Energy Efficiency: SECO is in partnership with the University of Texas - Texas Industries of the Future, to provide outreach, technical assistance and training for Texas industrial energy consumers.

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