April 21, 8:34 AM click here to comment > 5
Seattle to receive $20 million for financing energy efficiency projects
Today Mayor Mike McGinn will join Vice President Joe Biden at the White House for an announcement that the city of Seattle will receive $20 million from the US Department of Energy’s “Retrofit Ramp Up” program, a competitive grant program funded through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). Locally, Deputy Mayor of Community Darryl Smith announced the award at the opening session of Go Green, a conference to promote sustainable business practices.
Seattle was one of only 25 communities to receive a Retrofit Ramp Up award, of the more than 150 cities that applied to the program. Total funding for the grant program was $452 million.
“Working with community and industry partners, our city has put together an aggressive and innovative strategy to create green jobs, save energy, and reduce carbon emissions through deep investments in energy efficiency,” said McGinn. “The Ramp Up award will greatly increase the scale of our programs and enable us to pilot potentially game-changing approaches to financing and delivering energy efficiency projects.”
Seattle’s award will support the creation of the Seattle Neighborhood WEB (Weatherize Every Building) Initiative (map attached), a targeted energy efficiency retrofit effort in the city’s most culturally and economically diverse community stretching from the downtown core to the Rainier Valley.
The WEB Initiative will employ a neighborhood-based approach to invest in energy efficiency retrofits in single-family, multi-family, commercial, hospital, and municipal buildings. The retrofits will create significant energy savings–between 15-45 percent per building retrofitted—and will reduce an estimated 71,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, the WEB Initiative will create nearly 2,000 living wage green jobs, and will leverage the grant funding seven-to-one with local investments in energy efficiency. “The WEB program will drive significant demand for conservation in our region, creating new jobs and spurring growth in our energy efficiency industry that will last for years to come,” said Stan Price, Executive Director of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council.
A key piece of the WEB Initiative will be providing financing for building owners to invest in energy efficiency upgrades. “The innovative financing tools created through this grant will make it easier for Seattle residents and businesses to invest in energy conservation,” said Sue Taoka, Executive Vice President of Urban Programs for Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia. “The WEB Initiative will test an energy efficiency financing model that has the potential to dramatically increase energy efficiency investments throughout the region. Shorebank is pleased to be a key partner in this initiative.”
The EECBG program is a $3.2 billion program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that provides grants to states, local governments and Indian tribes to reduce total energy use and fossil fuel emissions and to improve energy efficiency nationwide. Seattle has already received $6.1 million in EECBG funding through the program’s formula award, which allocates funding based on population. Seattle’s existing EECBG funds are currently supporting conservation programs throughout the city, including several programs that will be expanded
Posted by: Aaron Pickus, Spokesperson