Washington: Community Power Works is Building a More Efficient Seattle

Project Overview
Positive Impact: The City of Seattle and several community organizations are working to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Locations: Seattle, Washington
Partners: Community Power Works
EERE Investment: $20 million
Clean Energy Sector: Energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturingPDF

Wedged between the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges and buffeted by lakes, rivers, and the awe-inspiring Puget Sound, Seattle has a legacy of environmental stewardship and a culture of innovation. Combined with thoughtful leadership on climate change, these are the driving forces behind the city’s aggressive goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The city of Seattle partnered with EERE and several community organizations to meet its energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals. Seattle and its program partners created Community Power Works (CPW) to provide a comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade program that combines outreach, financing, and incentives. CPW helps existing residential, commercial, and institutional buildings across the city lower their energy use by 15%-45% and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Seattle also formed financial partnerships to spur energy efficiency upgrades to homeowners, one home at a time. Working with Craft3, a community development financial institution, Seattle residents were able to finance their efficiency improvements through monthly Seattle City Light electric billing. In addition, the city formed a partnership with Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union to offer residential energy efficiency loans. Seattle has committed nearly $2 million into a revolving loan fund and an additional $1 million into a loan loss reserve for the residential sector. These ARRA funds will allow for more loans to be available at lower interest rates than would otherwise have been the case—resulting in more energy and cost savings for the community.

The Buildings Technologies Office (BTO) leads a vast network of research and industry partners to continually develop innovative, cost-effective energy saving solutions—better products, better new homes, better ways to improve older homes, and better buildings in which we work, shop, and lead our everyday lives.

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