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Gainesville gets more money to replace appliances
$80,000 grant to help cut energy costs
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Gainesville residents might have one more chance to get a boost from the city for replacing their energy-eating appliances.

City Council members learned Tuesday that the city has been awarded another $80,000 from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to replace old, inefficient appliances.

The money is in addition to a 2010 grant amounting to $300,0000, which the city mostly used to replace old appliances in city buildings and cut down on city energy costs.

Specifically, the money funded a new boiler in the Georgia Mountains Center, new HVAC units and tankless water heaters in other city buildings.

"A lot of these are over 15 years of age, so they're quite dated and inefficient by today's standards," said Jessica Tullar, special projects manager for the city.

A portion of the grant, however, was given to city residents last fall in the form of rebate checks for making an investment in more energy-efficient appliances.

To have retrofitting done, owners had to apply in September. They paid for the retrofitting and got a rebate from the grant. Fifteen projects were selected.

Project rebates were based on a calculation of how much energy would be saved from the investment. The checks ranged from $374 to $3,000 but did not exceed 45 percent of the total cost of upgrades.

"We ranked them based on energy savings, because that's ultimately the overall purpose of this grant program is to reduce fossil fuel dependency and improve energy usage," said Tullar.

Not all the residents who applied for the rebates in September, however, were given the grant.

Tullar said five residential applicants have been on a waiting list for the grant money. They'll be the first in line for the rebates.

"There might be a couple more we can help," said Tullar. "We just don't know until we get those five on the waiting list."