GEFA NEWS QUARTERLY MARCH 2014
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reduced Interest Rates Available for Conservation Projects
GEFA Launches Phase Two 2 of Agriculture Irrigation Program
Building Operator Scholarship Program Helps Georgia Schools
GEFA Welcomes New Water Resources Director
Governor’s Water Supply Program Application Period Now Open
EPD’s Construction Management Unit Managed by GEFA
GEFA Helps Georgia Residents Weather 4 the Storm
REDUCED INTEREST RATES AVAILABLE FOR ENERGY, LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION PROJECTS
he Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) launched a new initiative designed to encourage energy, land and water conservation and sustainability. Eligible energy, land, and water conservation projects will now receive a 1 percent interest rate reduction, a reduction that previously only applied to loans for water conservation projects. The reduction will be below the prevailing interest rate for the program through which it’s funded. These programs include the Georgia Fund, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan programs. “GEFA is excited to extend reduced interest rates to energy and land conservation projects,” said GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark. “We hope this initiative will encourage communities throughout the state to complete projects that protect the state’s energy, land and water resources and support the state’s culture of conservation.” Eligible energy conservation projects include, but are not limited to: landfill methane gas collection; geothermal, solar and wind power production; combined heat and power; energy management planning; inflow/infiltration (I/I) detection equipment and projects; lighting upgrades; and installation of energy efficient treatment equipment and processes. Eligible land conservation projects must result in the permanent protection of conservation land and convey some form of water quality benefit.. Eligible water conservation projects include, but are not limited to: water auditing; leak detection and repair, line rehabilitation and replacement; new or replacement water meters; high-efficiency fixture programs; and water reuse projects. Over the last seven years, GEFA has provided more than $79 million in low-interest financing for water conservation projects. Visit www.gefa.org for more information.
GEFA NEWS QUARTERLY MARCH 2014
AGRICULTURE IRRIGATION PROGRAM ASSISTS MORE GEORGIA FARMERS WITH ENERGY AND COST SAVINGS
GEFA sought to develop an energy program that would encourage farmers to reduce their dependency on foreign oil and seek out energy-efficient solutions for their businesses, as well as promote job growth. GEFA assisted the Pine Country Resource Conservation and Development Council Inc. to launch a rebate program to help farmers with the costs of replacing their inefficient diesel irrigation engines with more energy-efficient electric irrigation motors. Farmers in Bleckley, Dodge and Twiggs Counties had the opportunity to apply for rebates up to $15,000. The rebate program in these three counties was a huge success, with 38 projects completed as a result. These 38 projects alone saved 12,835 in MMBtus per year, the amount of power used by more than 3,000 homes in one month, and 145,000 gallons in diesel fuel per year, which would fuel more than 200 cars for a year. The popularity of the three-county rebate program encouraged GEFA to create a statewide program, the Georgia Agriculture Irrigation Motor (AIM) Program. The incentive program provided Georgia farmers with the opportunity to become more energy-efficient, save money on fuel costs, and reduce emissions. The rebates covered 25 percent of eligible project costs, with a $10,000 maximum rebate. The first round of the statewide program, which opened in March 2013, awarded 34 farmers throughout the state rebates totaling $154,309. The new installations saved up to 30,167 MMBtus of energy and reduced annual diesel fuel consumption by 217,029 gallons.
The energy programs developed by GEFA seek to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, improve the environment, strengthen quality of life and stimulate sustainable economic development and growth. BUILDING OPERATOR CERTIFICATION® SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM HELPS GEORGIA SCHOOLS SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY
GEFA provided 40 scholarships for Georgia’s K-12 building and maintenance personnel to attend Building Operator Certification® (BOC) training offered by Gwinnett Technical College. The BOC is a nationallyaccredited program that promotes energy efficiency by training facilities personnel on how to make heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and electric and lighting systems more energy efficient. The courses offered through the BOC seek to meet the demand for efficiency practices and focuses on understanding the integrated nature of facility systems. The BOC level one course is intended for facility personnel with two or more years of building operation and maintenance experience that wish to increase their knowledge of the total building system. Training consists of eight days of classroom instruction, project assignments completed at the participant’s facility, and in-class exams administered at the end of each day of training. The scholarship pays for the level one BOC course, which is offered exclusively to K-12 operators to encourage peer-to-peer exchange and to share best practices. In addition to the standard training, each participant develops a school-specific energy action plan to track their school’s energy usage. Energy-saving data provided by class participants shows an annual average energy savings of $8,322 per school per participant. For more information on available scholarships for K12 BOC training, please email Andrea Schroer or call her at 404-584-1137.
The success of the statewide program allowed GEFA to launch a second round of the AIM program in December 2013. Funding for the second phase of AIM, awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, has been completely reserved.
GEFA NEWS QUARTERLY MARCH 2014
GEFA WELCOMES NEW WATER RESOURCES DIRECTOR
Linda MacGregor has been selected as GEFA’s new Water Resources Division director. Since May 2013, MacGregor has served as a senior program manager at GEFA, where she coordinated a range of water resource projects and assisted with implementing Governor’s Water Supply Program projects. Before coming to GEFA, MacGregor was chief of the Watershed Protection Branch at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for eight years. At EPD, MacGregor facilitated efforts for the comprehensive protection of watersheds, as well as modeling and monitoring the state’s water resources. She led the $30 million investment in the first round of regional water planning from 2008 to 2011 to create regional water plans to meet water needs through 2050. MacGregor was also responsible for the issuance of the Water Quality Certification for the Savannah Harbor deepening project and management of recent drought and other environmental emergency responses. Prior to EPD, MacGregor worked for Brown and Caldwell and was president of McKenzie MacGregor Inc., gaining more than 20 years of consulting engineering experience in master planning, design and construction for municipal clients. In July 2013, MacGregor received the Hugh A. Wyckoff Award from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). The award recognizes active and sustaining participation in the GAWP, and applying increased knowledge to the service of water supply and water pollution control in Georgia communities and industries. She was also awarded the Georgia Bradley Gascoigne Medal by the Water Environmental Federation in 1995. MacGregor earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental and water resources engineering from Vanderbilt University.
APPLICATION PERIOD FOR GOVERNOR’S WATER SUPPLY PROGRAM NOW OPEN
The application period for the third round of lowinterest loan funding for water supply initiatives under the Governor’s Water Supply Program (GWSP) is now open. In January 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal directed GEFA to develop and launch the GWSP. The purpose of the program is to align and mobilize the resources of the state of Georgia to assist local governments with developing new sources of water supply adequate to meet future water demand forecasts. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. Should you have any questions about the GWSP or the application, email Matt Harper or call him at 404-584-1000.
GEORGIA EPD’S CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT UNIT NOW MANAGED BY GEFA
The Environmental Protection Division’s (EPD) Construction Management Unit (CMU) moved to GEFA in February 2014. The transfer provides for streamlining and increased efficiency of operations, as CMU has historically worked closely with GEFA financial managers. CMU provides engineering review and construction project management services that safeguard the integrity of GEFA’s loan programs, ensure environmental objectives are met and maintained, and protect public trust and taxpayer funds. The projects managed by CMU include reservoirs, wells, water and wastewater treatment facilities, water distribution and wastewater transport facilities, energy recovery, watershed and stream restoration and solid waste facilities. The unit’s responsibilities include project and construction monitoring and management, loan contract exhibits and amendments, funding disbursements, record management and technical assistance. CMU will be part of GEFA’s Water Resources Division, which supports the development of water, sewer and solid waste infrastructure projects.
“We are pleased to have Linda as our new Water Resources Division director,” said Clark. “The Water Resources Division staff and our customers will benefit greatly from her knowledge and expertise.
GEFA NEWS QUARTERLY MARCH 2014
GEFA HELPS GEORGIA RESIDENTS WEATHER TWO WINTER STORMS
They were called Snowpacalypse, Snowmaggeden, SnowJam, and a host of other names, but the two weather events that took place in Georgia in January and February required a number of state agencies to coordinate with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) to ensure the safety of Georgia’s citizens. GEFA is the coordinator for the Emergency Support Function (ESF) 12, which facilitates restoring damaged energy systems and components during state emergencies. All energy systems are considered critical infrastructure.
Energy Resources Director David Gipson heads to GEMA’s state operation center.
ESF 12 collects, analyzes and shares information on energy system damage, and provides estimates on the impact of energy system outages in affected areas. ESF 12 also provides timelines and geographic information on the energy restoration process, as well as technical expertise and field assessments. All of these efforts are designed to ensure that state government and private-sector stakeholders can overcome the challenges they face restoring the energy system.
The first ESF 12 activation in January didn’t have many energy-related implications, as that storm didn’t involve an ice event. However, ESF 12 did work with other ESFs to provide fuel to motorists who ran out of gas on the roads, streets and interstates. The Georgia Department of Defense and Georgia State Patrol also helped transport Georgia residents to their abandoned vehicles once roadways were cleared. The second SOC activation in February involved an ice event that caused approximately 1 million electricity customers throughout the state to lose power at some point during the storm. ESF 12 worked closely with other ESFs to restore power. ESF 12 handled more than 30 resource requests, which included emergency power restoration for nursing homes, water treatment plants and other critical functions. Power throughout the state was fully restored within a week, with critical facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes receiving priority service. GEFA, which facilitates energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy assistance programs, also works to ensure that this necessary resource is available to Georgia residents during emergency situations. 233 Peachtree Street NE Harris Tower, Suite 900 Atlanta, Georgia 30303 404-584-1000 (Main) 404-584-1069 (Fax) www.gefa.org If you wish to add or remove yourself from this newsletter distribution, please email email@example.com
Seven GEFA staff members worked a combined total of 124 hours in GEMA’s State Operations Center (SOC), along with staff from Georgia Power, Georgia EMC and Georgia Transmission Corporation. Their responsibilities included securing and relaying critical energy information to stakeholders, and responding to requests for resources and information.