Regional council shares in recognition

WASHINGTON – The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council is sharing in a national award announced last week.

The council, along with planning and development councils throughout West Virginia, have received the 2013 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation for the West Virginia Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

The regional council received an $875,023.64 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the state Department of Education in 2010 for the goal of making energy-saving improvements throughout local government unit facilities.

The council’s objective was to spend $806,175.59 in a manner that would yield the most savings per dollar used. Benefits to the local government units via energy upgrades and retrofits included window replacement, lighting upgrades and HVAC system improvements.

Projects selected for energy-saving improvements showed considerable savings during the application process and so far these projects have accomplished meeting or exceeded savings estimates after completion.

The state regional councils completed 141 projects that were recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for exceptional community development. Through the various projects $9.5 million dollars were invested in energy retrofits that promoted green technology and cost efficiency. The projects are estimated to return $830,520 in statewide annual savings.

The organization is a Washington, D.C.-based association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and partnering organizations for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.