The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $20 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to the City of Portland and State of Oregon. The funding will be used for residential and commercial energy retrofits throughout the state.
The funding is expected to create career-pathway jobs throughout the state, result in thousands of residential and commercial retrofits, and significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The state's funding will be used to support a Clean Energy Works Oregon program, resulting in energy retrofitting a significant number of homes and commercial buildings throughout the state. In addition, building owners and tenants will have the chance to pay back energy efficiency loans on utility bills or property tax bills.
"We're excited that the success of Clean Energy Works Portland will be a launch pad for Oregon's energy efficiency industry," Portland Mayor Sam Adams said. "The City of Portland thanks all the public, private and nonprofit partners that joined together to make this achievement possible. Portlanders should be proud of the national recognition that validates Portland as America's living laboratory for the sustainability economy."
Organizations that worked together to secure the grant funding in Oregon include:
- City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
- Oregon Department of Energy
- Energy Trust of Oregon
- ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia
- NW Natural
- Pacific Power
- Portland General Electric
- Worksystems Inc.
- Green For All
- Multnomah County
- Portland Development Commission
- Portland Housing Bureau
- Home Performance Contractors Guild of Oregon
"With this federal award Oregon can further its position as a national leader in energy efficiency," Gov. Ted Kulongoski said. "This investment in communities across the state will help showcase to the world that transitioning to sustainable communities is not only good for the environment, but it creates economic opportunity and improves our overall quality of life."
More than 150 communities throughout the nation submitted applications worth more than $3.5 billion, and Portland and Oregon were among one of only 25 communities selected to receive a portion of the $425 million in available funding.
The funding is part of the DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which is a result of President Barack Obama's commitment to increasing the nation's energy-efficiency industry.