July 25, 2007

University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture was awarded $175,000 in grants from the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy education throughout the state.

The grant will help support an ENERGY STAR circuit rider who travels across the state promoting ENERGY STAR at more than 50 events including home and garden shows and electric cooperative annual meetings, as well as a large exhibit at the Kentucky State Fair. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary, government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. Kentucky became only the fourth state in the nation to be declared an ENERGY STAR partner by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

This grant helps to educate UK Cooperative Extension agents about ENERGY STAR and energy-efficient practices. These agents, in turn, will take the energy efficiency message to Kentuckians in almost every county.

“Over the past several years the Cooperative Extension Service and the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy have forged a strong partnership,” said Jimmy Henning, associate dean and associate director for extension. “Kentucky agriculture has a role in energy production and we must help teach our communities how to better use their energy resources – it will improve our rural economies and our environment.” 

In addition, the funding supports UK’s Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment to conduct teacher training on energy efficiency. This training will be in collaboration with UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research and the Kentucky National Energy Education Project.

“Elementary and middle school teachers in Kentucky struggle with physical science topics, and none are more elusive than ideas dealing with energy,” said Carol Hanley, director of education and communication for the Tracy Farmer Center. “For the first time this grant offers a professional development series for elementary and middle school teachers that lets them explore energy topics alongside Kentucky energy research experts.”

The funding, from the federal State Energy Program grant, will also enable the university to provide renewable energy technical support to the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy.

More information about ENERGY STAR can be found at http://www.energystar.gov. Also, for more information on the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy, visit its Web site athttp://www.energy.ky.gov.


Jimmy Henning, 859-257-4302; Laura Skillman, 270-365-7541, ext. 278