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Gov. Brewer approves energy plan to create 1,500 jobs

"Gov. Brewer approves energy plan to create 1,500 jobs(By Heather Turner via ABC15.com)PHOENIX -- More than 1,500 jobs are
expected to be created in the State's Energy Office after Governor Jan
Brewer approved Arizona's State Energy Plan Wednesday, according to the
governor's office spokesperson Tasya Peterson.Brewer announced that
Arizona's State Energy Plan (SEP) under the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 has been approved by the U.S. Department of
Energy, Peterson said.Arizona is among the first 10 states to receive
stimulus funds for state energy plans, according to Peterson.The State's
Energy Office at the Arizona Department of Commerce is expected to create
more jobs for Arizonans.About 40 percent of Arizona's $55.4 million
stimulus program will help expand the SEP, which is focused on energy
efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects, according to
Peterson.""The SEP provides funding to effectively and efficiently make
energy-related investments for Arizona's future,"" Governor Brewer said in a
news release. ""It promises to create jobs, bring investment in emerging
technologies, such as biofuels and improved photovoltaic systems, and
advance school and public building efficiency projects.""According to
Peterson, Arizona will use the funding for a series of innovative programs
to help advance Arizona's energy efficiency and renewable energy
investments.Peterson said new energy performance contracts with Arizona
schools and state buildings will annually reduce utility costs by $15.5
million for Arizona taxpayers.They will do this by contracting to leverage
$30 million in stimulus funding with private capital funding to get $150
million in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, Peterson
added.Also according to Peterson, a revolving loan program will be
established to provide a sustainable financing mechanism for small business
owners looking to fund energy efficient building improvements or install
solar projects at their facilities.The program will also help provide for
energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in commercial buildings,
and loans to manufacturers of renewable energy and equipment, Peterson
said. Other programs will distribute $21 million to these projects
statewide.The state will reportedly receive an additional $27 million,
totaling $55.4 million, due to a successful demonstration of implementing
the plan. The Energy Office is in the process of establishing program
guidelines.According to Peterson, the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act's (ARRA) objective is to stimulate private investment, create more jobs
in Arizona and speed economic recovery.The State's application for the
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program will be
filed before the June 25 deadline, Peterson said.The EECBG program helps
fund local governments, Indian tribes, and others so they can implement
energy efficiency projects to reduce energy usage.For more information,
visit www.azrecovery.gov.For the very latest in green jobs from across the U.S. and globally please
click here"