The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, or AVEC, was awarded a two-hundred thousand dollar grant earlier this month from the United States Department of Agriculture to provide free energy audits. Meera Kohler is the President and CEO of AVEC.
“Once we get the final paperwork which I expect to receive within the next couple of weeks. We will then be working with an organization called Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advocates, says Kohler.
Kohler says the funding from the Rural Business Enterprise Grant will go towards energy audits for rural businesses. AVEC will solicit interest in rural AVEC communities. She says Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advocates, or EERE, will send out specialists to those rural communities to perform energy audits. In order justify the expense of sending out a specialist, she says there has to be at least two companies who are interested in an audit.
Kohler says the $200,000 grant should be enough to fund over forty audits. She says the audits are beneficial to the companies.
“And we’ll deliver a report to the owner that lists all of the things that can be done, what the cost is to accomplish it, and what the savings would be, and what the payback period would be for investment in the energy efficiency upgrade,” says Kohler
The audits are free, as long the company implements at least one of the changes recommended. The total cost for an audit is usually about thirty five hundred dollars in rural areas.