Friday, February 27, 2009

Portland mayor announces clean energy fund

Mayor Sam Adams today launched the Portland Clean Energy Fund to provide homeowners low-cost loans for energy efficiency upgrades. The fund has been under discussion for some time, as I reported in a Jan.6 NYTimes Green Inc. post, but now it's official. The city will start with a pilot project, providing loans to 500 households. The monthly energy savings will appear on homeowners' utility bills and the associated cost savings will go toward repaying the loans. The program will be expanded to include the entire city by the end of the year, said Adams in his state of the city address to City Club:

"This creates jobs now and keeps money in Portland in the long run. It is a critical part of the City’s Climate Protection Strategy and a great example of how we can reduce carbon emissions while strengthening our local economy. And, it’s a program that adds to our city’s triple bottom line and is working to create long-term, living-wage jobs."

The mayor also mentioned new initiatives to lower carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2050; a $5,000 tax credit to businesses that install solar panels; and a plan to develop new commercial green building standards.

(Audio of the speech is available here)

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