Retrofitting With Justice: Clean Energy Works Portland

I just came across a great short video on Clean Energy Works Portland (CEW).  Energy Works is one of my favourite examples of how cities can combine social, environmental and economic objectives.  Earlier this year I talked about it in an interview with Mike Armstrong (the City's Deputy Planning Director)  – and I'm sure to cover it again after I've seen some of the projects first hand this summer. 

CEW takes on three of the biggest elephants that are always in the room when people talk about urban sustainability: existing buildings, financing, and social justice.  It's hard to pretend you are really sustainable unless you can do something about the sieve-like quality of existing buildings, do it in a way that removes the barrier of initial upfront costs, and make it accessible regardless of which side of the tracks you live on. Now in a pilot phase, CEW does all three.

 

CEW provides low-interest loans -- paid back over 20 years on the building's utility bill -- that fund home energy retrofits.  There are no upfront costs to homeowners, and a community workforce agreement means that the jobs created benefit low-income communities.

If you want to read more Green For All, who produced the video, also recently released a report on CEW.

(Got other examples of innovative financing and retrofit projects that you'd like to see discussed here? Leave me a comment!)

Comments

1 Response to "Retrofitting With Justice: Clean Energy Works Portland"

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This is a blog for news and views on the future of sustainable cites. A major revamp is in the works. Until then I am keeping this version up as an archive of my past writing.

You can expect occasional updates, but not with the same frequency as in the past.

You can also find my writing on urban redesign and sustainability in ReNew Canada, The Mark, Sustainable Cities Canada, WorldChanging, and other more specialized academic publications.

Info on my consulting work, c.v. and current research focus is all here.


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