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Energy department offers millions for energy-savers

The U.S. Department of Energy has several million dollars available to help inventors of energy-saving devices get their projects past the pilot stage and into commercial production.

The funds have been allocated by Congress for industrial innovations that save energy or conserve natural resources. The program provides up to $575,000 per project in matching funds that do not have to be repaid.

Project examples can include work that improves the efficiency of casting metals or uses powdered paint that eliminates air pollution and dust waste.

In recent years, the Energy department has granted about $1 million to Utah companies to bring pilot projects to commercial marketability.

The Utah Office of Energy Services and the University of Utah Engineering Experiment Station have formed a partnership to help applicants polish their applications for greater competitiveness for the federal funds. Nationally, between 5 percent and 25 percent of worthy applications receive funding each year.

The Utah Office of Energy Services also wants to help Utah companies still in the planning stages for industrial innovation. Federal funds are available for projects still in the research and development stage.

More information is available by calling Jon Allred at the Utah Office of Energy Services at 538-8615 or Terry Chatwin at the University of Utah Engineering Experiment Station at 581-6348, or by accessing the Energy department Web site at www.eren.doe.gov.