This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 20, 2011

King County, Washington, Is Charging Up Savings

Residents of King County, Washington, are seeing several improvements in their community thanks to a $6.1 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The grant, which is funded by the Recovery Act, has allowed King County to conduct a variety of public and commercial energy efficiency upgrades, including the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, upgrades to its vehicle fleet, and energy improvements to senior housing.

With the help of EECBG funds, the county is helping lead a regional effort to install electric vehicle charging stations at strategic locations across the Puget Sound area. This will allow members of the public to charge their vehicles away from home and extend their trips. The installation project is expected to be finished this summer. According to King County executives, it will allow people who are buying electric vehicles to quickly charge them at the new 240-volt charging stations throughout King County. Additionally, the county is also improving the energy efficiency of its extensive fleet of vehicles by replacing conventionally powered vehicles with gas-electric hybrids. This new fleet will lower vehicle emissions and save 4,800 gallons of gas annually compared to the 20 current fleet vehicles. See the Energy Blog post.