I was in Olympia again yesterday tracking the progress of the Energy Efficiency Financing Act, a bill being considered by the Washington State Legislature. The legislation would make it easier for local governments to create innovative financing for energy efficiency retrofits in the residential sector.
Improving financing options would stoke demand for retrofits and lead to more jobs in the energy efficiency sector. One of the examples I have used is Clean Energy Works in Portland. Here is a video created by Green For All highlighting Clean Energy Works’ recent progress on green collar job creation.
The prospects for current legislation in Washington are promising and we will continue to keep an eye on the progress of that bill and others affecting energy efficiency financing.
Check out SustainableWorks, a Washington based non-profit that received funding through the state’s Community Energy Efficiency Pilot program (created last year by SB 5649). Working through the Spokane and Sound Alliances, 150 people in Spokane and 210 people in NE Seattle have already signed up to have SustainableWorks audits and deep retrofits. The group expects to have 300 people signed up in Federal Way by April, another 200 in Spokane by June and 300 more in Kirkland by July. As far as I can tell, those numbers are unprecedented nationally. They also insure that contractors doing the retrofits meet high customer quality standards, pay their workers prevailing wages and provide employment opportunites for workers from disadvantaged constituencies.
Jean – thanks for the tip on Sustainable Works! Sustainable Edmonds just started up a small scale energy audit and retrofit program, and there seems to be more funding paths available for us that we haven’t tapped. Any readers have tips on what funding we can get from the utilities (Puget Sound Energy and Snohomish PUD for Edmonds), or from the federal government, for the conduct of energy audits? We have the retrofit incentives pretty much in hand, but are receiving no help on the audits, other than a grant from our City Council.