Bellingham awarded Climate Showcase grant

The Bellingham Business Journal

Bellingham is one of the first cities in the nation to be awarded a $350,000 grant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Climate Showcase Community.

These grants are designed to assist communities to establish and implement climate change initiatives to help reduce carbon emissions. Of 450 applications from around the country, only 25 were selected to participate in the program. The City of Bellingham will use the grant funds to provide outreach and education on the Community Energy Challenge project, a collaboration with Sustainable Connections, Opportunity Council, Puget Sound Energy and RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

“The Community Energy Challenge will demonstrate a comprehensive approach to saving energy that combines community outreach, ‘one-stop shop’ weatherization assistance for homes and businesses, and customer and classroom education,” said Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike.

During the three-year program, an estimated 1,800 homes and 150 commercial buildings will be retrofitted to improve their energy efficiency. The completion of the challenge will result in a carbon emissions reduction equivalent to the removal of approximately 1,378 passenger cars from the road for one year, with many of those savings persisting over time as a result of the efficiency improvements.

The Community Energy Challenge benefits from the participation of the same core partners and experience gained in the 2006/2007 community-wide campaign called the Green Power Community Challenge (GPCC). That project resulted in Bellingham becoming the EPA’s No. 1 Green Power Community in the nation, and this award builds on that previous recognition. The green power challenge was designed to increase voluntary purchases of green power by strategically reaching out to businesses, residents and institutions.

For more information, see the project website at www.communityenergychallenge.org.

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