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


Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. In an effort to supply that information, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the German bank, is financing the creation of a public database of several hundred retrofitted buildings in New York City and a companion report to determine the savings from such moves.

  2. “Doubling Down on Green: Why Sustainability Endures in the Face of a Recession” indicates that 68 percent of developers own or manage at least some green properties (up from 60 percent last year), and five years from now 89 percent expect to (about the same as last year).

  3. Keep up the good work, I like your writing.

  4. I have used to find all of my no fee apartments in NYC for the past 5 years…No fee apartments….

  5. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa surffered a broken elbow in a bicycle accident Saturday evening, according to a spokesman.

    It happened about 6:50 p.m. July 17th, when a taxi abruptly pulled in front of him while he was riding in the bike lane on Venice Boulevard in the Mid-City area. The mayor hit his brakes and fell off the bike.

  6. Instituting a 10-year retrofit program for the country’s commercial spaces could save $41.1 billion in energy expenses every year, according to a new report by Pike Research.

    According to the report, as of 2010, more than 80 percent of commercial buildings in the U.S. were more than 10 years old. Pike estimated that a 10-year retrofit program would cost a total of $22.5 billion over its 10-year span.

  7. The rooftops at nine Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District campuses could soon be getting solar panels designed to generate two-thirds of the district’s electricity needs. Under the proposal, the district would provide space for the solar panels at nine campuses free of charge and would enter into a 25-year contract to purchase electricity from Regeneration. The company would agree to sell electricity to SMMUSD at $0.131 per kilowatt hour with an annual escalator of four percent. The proposal is expected to prevent 23,822 tons of greenhouse gases from being produced over the term of the deal.

    The solar panels would be installed at the following campuses: Grant Elementary, Franklin Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Muir/SMASH, Rogers Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, Cabrillo Elementary. Pt. Dume Elementary and Webster Elementary.

  8. Water efficiency will become a requirement citywide under bills passed by the City Council on Wednesday. One, which will ban the use of drinking water for so-called “once through” cooling systems, takes effect this coming January and applies to new construction as well as replacement cooling systems in commercial buildings.

    Other bills will promote the use of tap rather than bottled water in commercial buildings, require alarms and sub-meters to detect water leaks and lower the maximum flow rate on certain plumbing fixtures, including showerheads and flush toilets.

    In all, the measures are intended to conserve about one billions of water per year across the five boroughs, according to the council. The measures are based on recommendations buy the Green Codes Task Force, a group convened by the Urban Green Council—the New York City chapter of the US Green Building Council—at the request of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Leave a Reply


all, Green Building, Green Cities, Green Houses, Snapshot, Trends, U.S. Government, Uncategorized