City of Largo, Florida
Recovery GrantsThe American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or the Recovery Act) contained funding for many grant programs to benefit local government and communities around the country. The City of Largo is fortunate to have been selected to receive several grants through ARRA, both directly from the federal government and through sub-grants.
US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY - $719,200The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program or EECBG, is a grant program that was in the planning stages for several years, but initially funded as part of ARRA. This program provides funding to local governments for use by the government itself, or to sub-grant to individuals and non-profit organizations, to make changes to a structure, process, or in behavior regarding energy consumption.
To date these funds have been used to provide the City of Largo's first photovoltaic energy system on the roof of the new Largo Community Center, conduct an Energy Efficiency Analysis of the Largo Municipal Complex and for the Largo Energy Efficiency Sub-grant (LEES) program.
|Largo Community Center||Aerial view of photovoltaic panels|
LEES is administered by the City of Largo's Housing Division and provides sub-grants to those who qualify for other Housing programs.
The Housing Division is pleased to announce the completion of two rehabilitation projects that included the provision of LEES grants to the homeowners. Each participant received a total of $5,000 towards energy efficient mechanical equipment.
|Project #1: Madison St|
|The LEES grant enabled this family of five to replace their 25 year old HVAC system, that was previously located on the roof, with a new 15 SEER heat pump with all new duct work. In addition, the rehabilitation portion of the project included the construction of a new pitched roof that allowed enough space to blow in R-30 attic insulation. With all of the improvements to this house the homeowners anticipate a substantial reduction in their $400 current average monthly electric bills.|
Project #2: 8th Avenue NW
The LEES grant was provided to an individual homeowner to replace a 20 year old HVAC system which was no longer operational. The grant was used to purchase and install a 15 SEER heat pump with all new duct work. The rehabilitation portion of this project included a new pitched roof, Energy Star roof shingles, energy efficient windows, and insulation.
City Hall Complex Reroof Design and Energy Efficiency StudyThe City of Largo used EECBG funding to conduct an evaluation of energy usage, energy loss and efficiencies to be gained at the City Hall Complex, also known as the Largo Municipal Complex. The knowledge gained through this study is helping the City of Largo make its facilities more energy efficient, thereby reducing operating costs. As part of this study, several suggestions were made regarding structural and equipment improvements which could reduce energy consumption. Two of those recommended projects, Parking Lot Lighting Retrofit and Electrical Distribution Transformers Retrofit, were approved by the City Commission and the US Department of Energy as new grant-funded projects. These projects utilize savings from the EECBG funded Largo Community Center photovoltaic (solar) energy system installation, which came in under budget.
Largo Municipal Complex Parking Lot Lighting RetrofitThe south parking lot of the Largo Municipal Complex, the main entrance and parking area for City Hall visitors, has newly retrofitted lighting. The existing lighting poles and system have been retrofitted with LED lights which use less electricity, have a longer life expectancy and reduce operating costs. Next time you stop by City Hall for an evening Commission meeting, check out the glow of these newly retrofitted energy efficient lights.
Largo Municipal Complex Electrical Distribution Transformers RetrofitDid you know that some buildings have transformers inside to regulate electricity once it enters the facility? A transformer is a device that moves electricity from one circuit to another through conductors. Transformers can range in size from small devices hidden in stage equipment to large units used to connect portions of power grids. Through the energy efficiency study, it was discovered that the Largo Municipal Complex had outdated and inefficient transformers within the building. EECBG funded replacements have recently been installed to better regulate electricity throughout the facility and reduce "load loss" thereby reducing energy consumption.
Urban Forestry Health Initiative
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and United States Department of Agriculture
Crews from O'Neill's Tree Service have completed work as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program. With this grant, the City of Largo was able to structurally prune and crown clean 178 trees, helping to remove dead branches and crowded or rubbing limbs. This maintenance will allow light and air to penetrate the tree's crowns and help to eliminate potential hazards.
The health of Largo's urban forest directly effects the health of the community. Trees turn carbon dioxide into much needed oxygen, helping to improve air, water and soil quality and provide very necessary shade. Corrective pruning in an urban forest can help improve the overall health of trees, making them stronger and safer. The City of Largo extends their appreciation to the US Forest Service for providing funding to help improve the City's urban forest.
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