Tennessee Bond Program To Release Applications For Energy Conservation Projects

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs announced on Nov. 1 the release of the state’s Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB) Program’s Request for Proposals (RFP), which will detail how local governments and public universities can apply for low-interest bonds to finance qualified energy saving projects.

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds were created by Congress in 2008 and expanded in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Tennessee’s total allocation for the program is approximately $64.7 million. More than $18.1 million has been, or is currently, scheduled to be issued for qualifying projects by jurisdictions automatically eligible under the federal legislation. The State has issued 12% of its allocation, surpassing the Southeastern average of 8.7%.

“This program presents an opportunity for more communities and public institutions across the state to take advantage of bonds that offer very attractive rates, in order to fund energy savings projects that both lower ongoing energy-related costs and benefit the environment,” Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau said.

The QECB program will make the remaining $46.6 million available for qualifying projects. Entities eligible to participate in the program include all local government jurisdictions in Tennessee, along with public universities. Local governments can issue the bonds on behalf of a private project, with conditions.

Prior to the October 2013 RFP release, the Office of Energy Programs has conducted a series of lunch and learn workshops around the state as part of the Tennessee Energy Education Initiative. Each of the workshops featured valuable information about the QECB Program, including presentations from bond experts and case studies from successful projects. Information from these workshops is also available through the Office of Energy Programs resource page.

Additional information on the QECB program is available through TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs at 615/532-0238 orpete.westerholm@tn.gov. The Tennessee Energy Education Initiative and related events information is available through TDEC Office of Energy Programs at 615/741-2994 and Pathway Lending at 615/425-7171.