By Jodi Summers
All the banter that Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villiarigosa has been causing in Washington with his green / energy saving ideas for Los Angeles are paying off. Recently, Vice President Biden announced that Los Angeles County was awarded $30 million to “ramp-up” energy efficiency building retrofits.
Los Angeles was one of 25 communities selected to receive a slice of $452 million in Recovery Act funding under the Department of Energy’s Retrofit Ramp-Up Initiative. The initiative promotes the concept that communities, governments, private sector companies and non-profit organizations will work together on pioneering and innovative programs for concentrated and broad-based retrofit projects.
A simple example of how the Retrofit Ramp-Up Initiative would work would be to have the same construction crew upgrade all the homes on the same block at the same time. The White House notes that this way of doing business, “…Saves contractors time and money. They can pass the savings on to their customers. And it’s just a much more efficient way to operate.”
Biden said the program, part of $80 billion in the Recovery Act for a clean energy economy, will help consumers save money on their energy bills, lower greenhouse gas emissions and create green jobs.
The models created through this program are expected to save households and businesses about a $100 million annually in utility bills, while leveraging private sector resources, to create what funding recipients estimate at about 30,000 jobs across the country during the next three years.
“Investing in retrofits is a triple win,” Vice President Biden observed, adding the program will result in retrofits for hundreds of thousands of U.S. homes and businesses over the next three years.
“This initiative will help overcome the barriers to making energy efficiency easy and accessible to all – inconvenience, lack of information, and lack of financing,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, we will make our communities more energy efficient and help families save money. At the same time, we’ll create thousands of jobs and strengthen our economy.”
In addition to the $452 million Recovery Act investment, the 25 projects will leverage 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. The government noted gleefully, that the program funding was eight times oversubscribed, with more than $3.5 billion in applications received for the just over $450 million in Recovery Act funds available, (kind of like applying for UCLA). That puts it in course for additional investment in energy-saving and job-creating projects like these nationwide.
Retrofit Ramp-Up Awards
The following governments and non-profit organizations have been selected for Retrofit Ramp-Up awards. These projects are planned to begin in fall 2010. Final award amounts are subject to negotiation:
Austin, Texas – $10 million
Boulder County, Colorado – $25 million
Camden, New Jersey – $5 million
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning – $25 million
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Ohio – $17 million
Greensboro, North Carolina – $5 million
Indianapolis, Indiana – $10 million
Kansas City, Missouri – $20 million
Los Angeles County, California – $30 million
Lowell, Massachusetts – $5 million
State of Maine – $30 million
State of Maryland – $20 million
State of Michigan – $30 million
State of Missouri – $5 million
Omaha, Nebraska – $10 million
State of New Hampshire – $10 million
New York State Research and Development Authority – $40 million
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – $25 million
Phoenix, Arizona – $25 million
Portland, Oregon – $20 million
San Antonio, Texas – $10 million
Seattle, Washington – $20 million
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance – $20 million
Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Ohio – $15 million
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation – $20 million