Here’s some green news from Earthtechling’s home city of Portland, Oregon.  The U.S. Department Of Energy (DOE) recently announced that Clean Energy Works Oregon‘s (CEWO) pilot program has been a big success. The program, aimed at  retro-fitting homes in Portland and outlying areas for better energy efficiency has, to date, upgraded over 500 homes and supported 350 jobs in the process. Since response to the program was nothing short of enthusiastic, CEWO now plans to expand the program to 17 communities around the state and, in doing so, hopes to create 1300 new jobs going into 2013.

The pilot program has been sustained since its initial launch via funds from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) and, later, an additional $20 million allocated to the state through the Recovery Act (a.k.a. stimulus plan). Its goal has been to retro-fit homes with energy saving windows, doors, insulation, water-heaters etc. Through the plan, participants are able to have the improvements financed by CEWO to be paid back through their utility bill.

Clean Energy Works
image via city of Portland

Going forward, CEWO hopes  to leverage the funds they’ve received into $120 million of economic activity for the state. If the continuation of the program meets with the same success that the pilot  did, it could develop into a self-sustaining industry that consistently feeds the state with jobs. It’s a model that serves as an example of how federal funds can be turned into long term economic growth whilst also providing a positive environmental impact and a tangible benefit to a state’s residents.

Oregon residents interested in participating the in the expanded program can visit the CEWO website for more information on how the program works, eligibility requirements and the application process.

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