weatherization strip - flickr - thingmajigA roundup of today’s news highlights stories covering the expansion and economic benefits of making homes and businesses more energy efficient.

Home weatherizing will be easier and cheaper thanks to a new program being tested in Portland and Multnomah County. From the Oregonian we learn that the goals of the Clean Energy Fund are “to overcome the biggest barriers to large-scale energy efficiency efforts: steep upfront costs, an uncertain payback and a general lack of information about how best to proceed.” To do that, 500 homeowners are going to get basic improvements—more insulation and sealing of spots where energy leaks out—and the costs of the retrofits will be tacked onto their utility bills to be paid over the long term.

Besides saving energy, money and greenhouse gas emissions, the effort should create green jobs.

The Seattle Times reports that two of Seattle’s oldest office buildings are reaping the economic benefits of energy upgrades (one being the Joseph Vance building, which Sightline Institute calls home).

And National Public Radio has a story examining the evolution of the $39 billion energy portion of the Obama administration’s stimulus package. So far state-led weatherizing projects are early recipients of some of that cash.

Other interesting stories send us back to the farm with programs to gather unwanted produce from “farms, fields and backyards” nationwide to stock food banks and other programs aiding the poor. In Boise, small urban plots are yielding crops. Check out the rest of the Northwest’s top 10 sustainability headlines at Sightline Daily, or get the news delivered via email each morning by clicking here.

Insulation photo courtesy of Flickr user thingermejig
under the Creative Commons license.