Energy Efficiency Catalysts Big and Small
Two major developments for energy efficiency in commercial buildings unfolded in the last week with potential for huge impact on economies both near and far to the AirAdvice headquarters. And if you like acronyms, this post will delight you.
On the larger stage of energy efficiency for existing buildings, the Department of Energy announced Monday that 20 U.S. communities will receive a total of $60 million to implement local energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to reduce energy use by businesses and homes. These funds will be distributed via competitive grands under the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Commercial, residential, and municipal energy efficiency retrofits and improvements – like those recommended by the BuildingAdvice suite of energy diagnostics for commercial buildings – fall under these monies. Oregon’s own Columbia County (Northwest of the Portland area) will receive $3.5 million; full list here.
And right here in Portland, Ore., a strategic partnership between GE and the City of Portland was announced last week that will allow for energy efficiency, distributed power generation and job creation by local businesses. Mayor Sam Adams and GE reps signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last Tuesday that outlined specific projects, marking the first city in the United States to to have an MoU in place with GE on sustainable economy efforts. The partnership includes engaging with local companies to help develop and expand into new markets via global product licensing, implementing commercial and residential energy efficiency retrofits, developing EcoDistricts throughout the city, and working toward the completion of the Oregon Sustainability Center, as well as to explore city finance needs via municipal, state and GE resources.
The Building Advisor can’t wait to see what these EcoDistricts are gonna look like. I think this will go well with our alphabetically named streets in the Northwest neighborhood – perhaps the sustainable businesses can be indexed by street name?
Tags: building, city of portland, columbia county, commercial, Department of Energy, ecodistrict, energy efficiency, energy efficiency conservation block grant, ge, mayor sam adams, oregon sustainability center