Alabama Programme to Improve Energy Efficiency and Create Jobs

THE U.S. southeastern State of Alabama is acting to improve energy efficiency and create jobs through the Alabama Saves Energy Loan programme.

The programme came into effect less than a year ago when it was seeded by $25 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, it was then further boosted by another $60 million from Phillips Lighting.

The Alabama Saves programme provides loans ranging from 50,000 dollars to 4 million dollars at two percent interest, with the aim of helping existing businesses finance energy efficiency improvements in their facilities.

State officials claim that the money saved through the reduced energy costs generated by the improvements will be greater than the loan repayments, hence helping businesses retain or create new jobs.

Jim Byard, Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, stated: "Here’s a small business owner and he’s trying to determine whether he’s going to pay his energy costs or he’s going to lay people off, so if his energy costs are lower it will actually allow him to retain employees and keep those jobs. Now, in a larger sense if you had a larger employer the savings may be such that they may hire folk."

As far as the future for the loan programme is concerned as the initial loans are repaid, the fund will be replenished and continue to be available to more businesses.

Picture of Birmingham's skyline by acnatta reproduced under CCL.

Friday 28th October 2011

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