More than $1 million in federal grants funds Independence will receive for energy efficiency and conservation projects will mainly go toward programs for low-income weatherization and home energy audits, Power and Light Director Leon Daggett said.

More than $1 million in federal grants funds Independence will receive for energy efficiency and conservation projects will mainly go toward programs for low-income weatherization and home energy audits, Power and Light Director Leon Daggett said.

Daggett said the city still has to file an application with the U.S. Department of Energy to detail what IPL plans to do with $1.014 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program funds, formula grants for projects to reduce total energy use and fossil fuel emissions and improve energy efficiency.

“In July, we plan to unveil a lot of new programs that address low-income weatherization, home energy audits and energy efficiency,” Daggett said. “We haven’t totally laid out all of our plans, but we plan to use the money to support those programs.”

According to the DOE, weatherization assistance programs enable low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. During the last 32 years, the DOE’s weatherization assistance program has provided services to more than 6.2 million low-income families. On average, weatherization reduces heating bills by 32 percent and overall energy bills by about $350 per year at current prices.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill announced Thursday the state, 10 counties and 17 cities in Missouri – including Independence and Blue Springs – will receive a total of $43,779,300 in federal grants for energy efficiency and conservation projects as part of President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Blue Springs will receive $490,600, Jackson County $483,100 and Lee’s Summit will get $762,700 in grant funds.

“We’re excited that we’ll be able to make a big difference (in energy conservation), Daggett said.