State of Washington Creates Sustainable Energy Trust Fund

April 20, 2009

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill on April 13 that will create the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund to finance energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy projects. The legislation is based on a Berkeley, California, model that was also emulated in Boulder, Colorado. (See the November 12 news story published by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.)

In both the Berkeley and Boulder programs, homeowners and businesses volunteer to participate. They repay loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through special assessments that are added to their property taxes.

The Washington legislation:

  • Allows property owners to apply to the Housing Finance Commission for pre-financing for energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements
  • Allows property owners up to 10 years to pay back the cost of an energy efficiency improvement and 25 years to pay back the cost of a renewable energy improvement
  • Directs the commission to periodically issue Sustainable Energy Trust bonds to pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements
  • Requires the commission to establish eligibility criteria for applicants
  • Prohibits general funds from being used for the program.

For more information, see the text of the bill.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Washington, see: