The Utah Energy Office has approved spending about $350,000 from its Local Government Grant Program to fund 40 energy-efficiency projects statewide, spokeswoman Linda Neilson said Friday.

The state money comes from oil overcharge monies returned to the state following court-ordered settlements, Neilson said. The office's funds will be matched by approximately $234,00 in local money.The largest grant, for $45,000, went to Sevier County to convert the county courthouse to natural gas for heating and cooling, she said. Sevier County will add $30,000 to the project, which is expected to save $12,000 annually in energy costs.

"The program was designed to put oil overcharge dollars to work in local communities throughout the state," said Richard Anderson, Utah Energy Office director.

"All the projects will be completed within the year," Anderson said, "and will provide energy savings for years to come."

The other major grants are for $32,000 to Provo City to renovate the community's sewer plant pumps and $31,000 to Salt Lake City to replace street lights on Third South between State Street and Second East.

The Provo project is expected to save the city about $18,000 a year, Neilson said, and installing more energy efficient lights in Salt Lake is expected to cut the city's power bill by $5,000 annually.