San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 1st, 2009
Federal grant will fund energy efficient appliances for San Marcos residents


The city of San Marcos will offer grants to residents who want to replace old appliances with newer Energy Star-certified models as part of a federal $498,100 energy efficiency grant.

The city secured the funding with the assistance of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett who announced the award today. The money will also go to updating its comprehensive energy and plan and weatherizing city buildings to reduce the municipality’s energy usage.

“This investment creates jobs in San Marcos that will save our neighbors money through lower utility bills,” Doggett said.  “As we continue looking for ways to move our country toward a clean energy future, San Marcos can be a leader with important energy efficient improvements.”

Said Mayor Susan Narvaiz, “The city of San Marcos is delighted that our community will benefit from these federal funds.”

About three-fifths of the money, $298,100, is designated for the appliance grants which, at an average of about $2,000 apiece, would serve 150 families, said grants administrator Richard Salmon, who coordinated the city’s application for the funding.

Low-income families, as determined by Housing and Urban Development standards, are eligible for up to $3,000 to replace old appliances, Salmon said. The limit for everyone else is $2,400 per household.

In addition, $100,000 of the grant money will be used to improve efficiency in city buildings and $25,000 will be used to update the energy master plan. The rest is designated for program administration.

In July, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs awarded the city a $525,000 Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant to help redevelop blighted properties.

The grant will allow the city to demolish eight blighted structures ($50,000) and purchase, rehabilitate, and resell three foreclosed homes ($450,000). Program administration expenses will be reimbursed up to $25,000.

The houses will be sold to individuals or families with a total household income that does not exceed 50 percent of the area median income.  At this level, the income of a one-person household could not exceed $25,650 per year; for a four-member household, the total income could not exceed $36,650.

The loans will be financed by TDHCA as a 30-year, zero-interest mortgage and will require the purchaser to pay a $500 down payment. Closing cost assistance and  gap financing up to $30,000 will be available to help low-income families purchase these homes.

Funding for this grant is provided from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department.

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3 thoughts on “Federal grant will fund energy efficient appliances for San Marcos residents

  1. Beth,

    The city has not put out official word on how to apply for the grants. I figure it will be a while before the funds are ready to dispense.

    I’m told that Conservation Coordinator Jan Klein will administer the Energy Star appliance program. Her email is

    The Neighborhood Stabilization grants are administrated by Community Initiatives Program Administrator Janis Hendrix. Her e-mail is

  2. THis is awsome. If more cities were to do this, we would be 10 times faster to getting the energy independent country, but of course that is not going to happen.

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