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The Baltimore City Department of General Services, in conjunction with the City Department of Planning, has been awarded a $190,000 Climate Showcase Communities grant from the U.S. EPA. Partnering with the City on this grant and providing a 51% match is the Johns Hopkins University. This funding will be used to help Baltimore’s nonprofit community save energy and money on utility bills, which allows them to commit more dollars to the meaningful services they provide. Baltimore is one of 25 grant recipients selected nationally from a competitive pool of over 450 applicants. Grant funds will be used to train local college students, provide energy benchmarking and to provide audits to the nonprofits. The program will also connect the organization to the resources needed to finance and install energy efficiency improvements.

The Climate Showcase Communities program, scheduled to kickoff in mid to late March, is in keeping with many goals of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan including: reducing energy use by 15% by 2015, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2015, expanding access to informational resources on sustainability, and green jobs training. This program builds on the success of the Baltimore Neighborhood Energy Challenge (BNEC), launched last year by the City of Baltimore in partnership with the Baltimore Community Foundation. BNEC targeted energy savings in households. For additional information, nonprofit organizations should contact Paul Skorochod, DGS Energy Division at (410) 396-4715.

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Steve Sharkey

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