Portland Bucks National Trend: Clean Energy Works Helping Reduce Local Carbon Emissions, Create Jobs

Authors: stacy

The City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recently issued a Year One Progress Report showing that Portland and Multnomah County have made substantial progress in their first year of implementing their Climate Action Plan. Local emissions in 2009 were 2 percent below 1990 levels, in sharp contrast to emissions nationwide, which rose 7 percent.

With energy use in buildings being the single largest contributor to carbon emissions in Multnomah County, the report cites establishing Clean Energy Works Portland to finance energy efficiency in buildings -- and its progress in improving the energy efficiency of more than 300 homes in 2010 -- as a major accomplishment that has contributed to the region's reduction of energy use and emissions.

As the report notes, Clean Energy Works Portland is a partnership between the City, County, Energy Trust of Oregon, Enterprise Cascadia, Green For All, contractors, unions, and community groups.

The program is taking the high road to catalyzing the energy efficiency industry in the Portland metropolitan area -- by providing up-front financing, ensuring an exemplary customer experience, creating high quality local jobs, ensuring access to employment for a diverse workforce and diverse businesses, increasing demand for energy efficiency products and services. At the same time the program will help the city meet its goals of reducing carbon emissions below 1990 levels by 30 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.

Initial seed funding from Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) formula funds under the Recovery Act made it possible to launch this pilot, as well as set the groundwork to expand the program statewide through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (USDOE) competitive EECBG grant program, BetterBuildings.

Green For All will soon be releasing a brief report that highlights measurable progress to date on goals for high-quality job creation, equitable hiring, inclusive business opportunities, standardized training, and energy conservation.

The Year One Progress Report and the complete Climate Action Plan is available at: http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=49989&

An article in the Portlander is available at: http://theportlander.com/2010/12/01/portland-reduces-carbon-emissions-bucking-the-national-trend

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