White House Retrofit Ramp-Up Program Boosts Local Energy Efficiency Projects

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The White House is continuing on its energy efficiency bent with the Retrofit Ramp-Up program, a $452 million cash infusion for U.S. communities to make energy efficient building retrofits accessible to both homeowners and businesses. The program will offer grants (PDF) to 25 communities, including Indianapolis, Indiana; Boulder County, Colorado; and Los Angeles County, California.

Each community project will take a slightly different tactic to energy efficiency. The $10 million Indianapolis effort will retrofit a 470 square block neighborhood into an energy efficient community and offer up investments in energy efficiency education and outreach to community support organizations. The larger $25 million Boulder County project will coordinate large-scale retrofits through the “Two Techs and a Truck” program, which provides energy efficiency outreach, audit, and implementation services to businesses, tenants, and homeowners. And Los Angeles County will get $30 million for the Retrofit California project–an ambitious program that provides energy outreach and education, utility allowances for affordable housing, group purchasing options for retrofits, and data tracking on energy savings and retrofit rates of return.

Vice President Joe Biden touted the program in a speech this week. “Investing in retrofits is a triple win. It’s a win for consumers
who save money on their energy bill,” he said. “It’s a win for the environment
because we’re using less energy, which cuts down on harmful emissions
from greenhouse gases. And, finally, it’s a win for the American
economy, because it creates green jobs, jobs that can’t be outsourced.” In fact, the Retrofit Ramp-Up is expected to create create 30,000 jobs over the next three years and save consumers $100 million annually in utility bills.


Upset that your city or state isn’t getting Retrofit Ramp-Up money? Biden assures us that the DOE is working to help retrofit even more communities. Judging by the government’s recent investments in energy efficiency, we tend to believe him. The full list of Retrofit Ramp-Up communities is below.

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


About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more


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