$452 million in Recovery Act funds, the U.S. government said today, will be allocated to 25 communities across the United States to develop and execute “pioneering and innovative programs for concentrated and broad-based retrofits of neighborhoods and towns – and eventually entire states.” These energy efficiency retrofit programs are expected to “save households and businesses about a $100 million annually in utility bills, while leveraging private sector resources” an also create “what funding recipients estimate at about 30,000 jobs across the country during the next three years.”
The U.S. Department of Energy is handing out these funds as part of its Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative. The communities chosen for these funds will also receive “an estimated $2.8 billion from other sources over the next 3 years to retrofit hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the country.” It is expected that those getting the monies will “employ innovative financing models to make these savings accessible, for example by offering low and no-interest loans that are repaid through property tax and utility bills” and that they will “deliver verified energy savings and incorporate sustainable business models, to ensure that buildings will continue to be retrofitted after Recovery Act funds are spent.”
One community getting funding, for example, is Portland, Oregon. This green-focused town and state will be given $20 million to further flesh out its Clean Energy Works program, which offers the ability for homeowners and businesses to do energy retrofitting of their buildings in a more easily manageable financial matter which seems them paying back energy efficiency loans on their utility bills or property tax bills.