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Maryland intros energy assistance program

8/21/2012

Targeted farm program will provide financial assistance to minimize the costs associated with energy efficiency upgrades to farms/businesses in the agriculture sector.

Annapolis (August 15, 2012) - Today, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced the Kathleen A. P. Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program. The program will provide grants to farms/businesses in the agriculture sector to cover up to 75% of the cost of energy efficiency upgrades. Named after the late Kathleen A. P. Mathias, one of the Eastern Shore's leading advocates and the wife of Maryland State Senator James N. Mathias, the new program is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings program. Under this program, $1 million will be available to farms/businesses in Maryland's agriculture sector to help plan, implement, and complete the upgrades.

"This investment in Maryland's agriculture sector will help our farms and farm businesses save money and energy, while helping the State reach its goal of reducing overall energy consumption 15% by 2015," said Malcolm Woolf, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. "These showcase projects will highlight to all of Maryland the gains that can be made through energy efficiency upgrades in the agriculture sector and indeed all sectors of our economy."

Through the Mathias Agriculture Energy Efficiency program, MEA will distribute grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 to ease the costs of installing eligible energy efficiency technologies. Farms and businesses in the agriculture sector may apply. Examples include Dairy, Orchard, Poultry/Egg, Greenhouse, Vegetable, Animal, Vineyard, Grain Dryer, Processor, Sawmill, and Aquaculture. The measures must enable a minimum 15% energy savings in the buildings or areas where they are installed. All awards will be after any other incentives have been applied. Of this final amount, MEA will grant up to 75% of the project cost.

"Lauren, Trevor and I are deeply grateful and humbled that Kathy's inspiration is being memorialized in this important energy grant program," said Maryland State Senator James N. Mathias, Jr. (D - Lower Eastern Shore) and Kathy's husband. "Her boundless energy and hope serve as a solid foundation for assisting the energy needs of Maryland's agricultural industry. I am pleased Maryland has created this program to help farmers become more energy efficient and save money in these tough times and into the future."

For more information about this initiative, please visit:
http://energy.maryland.gov/Business/mathiasag/index.html