Community Energy Challenge gets $2M in new funding

Bellingham’s Community Energy Challenge has received $2 million from the Northwest Clean Air Agency to fund projects that increase energy efficiency in homes and businesses in northwest Washington.

The program, a collaborative effort between the Opportunity Council and Sustainable Connections, both nonprofits, was one of three local environmental projects selected by NWCAA through a competitive process. The BP Cherry Point Refinery provided the funding in an effort to partially offset an increase in carbon emissions from its new low-sulfur diesel fuel production.

“We are pleased that NWCAA found that energy efficiency is among the most cost effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Shawn Collins, Community Energy Challenge manager with the Opportunity Council, in a press release. “This is a success for the environment, and a success for the local economy.”

In the past four years, the Community Energy Challenge has worked with 1,200 homeowners and more than 275 small businesses to identify ways to reduce energy bills. During that time, it has also created more than 47 jobs and has generated more than $10 million in local economic activity, according to Alex Ramel, energy and policy manager with Sustainable Connections.

More information is online at

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