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UA Working with Local Towns to Cut Energy Usage

The University of Arkansas is working with eight cities in the Natural State to increase energy efficiency and expand renewable energy.
The University of Arkansas is working with eight cities in the natural state to increase energy efficiency and expand renewable energy.

Arkansas is ranked 38th in the nation for energy efficiency, but the UA's Applied Sustainability Center wants to change that. 

Central Arkansas towns involved in the project include North Little Rock, Harrison, Searcy, Hot Springs, and Gould.

Director Michele Halsell says Arkansas could be a leader in solar, and other forms of alternative energy, but first city leaders must understand how to create a strategic plan. 

The center selected eight cities, including Fayetteville for the Sustainable Energy Scorecards and Education For Municipalities program.

Participants will get a scorecard outlining exactly how much energy it takes to run the city, Halsell says.  

And will then head to the university to learn how to cut that usage.

"Arkansas households use 20 percent more electricity than the national average," she says. "When the city, when businesses, hospitals, schools and homeowners save energy, they save money, and those dollars can be spent for other things in the local economy."

The program is paid for by a grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation.

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