DOE-retrofit-ramp-upEnergy efficiency retrofits can be “small stuff but with big, big, big, big savings,” said Vice-President Joe Biden this morning.

He was announcing that Seattle, Portland, and Eugene are among the recipients of sought-after federal money for energy efficiency retrofits. It was a better-than-usual speech for this kind of thing.

In particular, Biden did a good job of underscoring that efficiency is “a triple win”—good for household budgets, the environment, and for the economy because efficiency retrofits lead to “jobs that can’t be outsourced.” But he stole my heart when he took the opportunity to remind the auience that while local investment is important, “we need a comprehensive energy and climate bill.” (Amen!)

The programs in Oregon will work to expand the successful Clean Energy Works model that Roger has written about. The program in Seattle focus on weatherization in the southeast part of the city.

From Seattle’s press release:

Seattle’s award will support the creation of the Seattle Neighborhood WEB (Weatherize Every Building) Initiative (click here to see map), 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.

I couldn’t locate a similar press release for Portland, but the Dept of Energy has more information on the funding program here, and on the local projects here.

And if’s more reading on energy efficiency you want, don’t forget about