Clean Energy Works Oregon gets national attention as model energy efficiency program

Recent report recognizes Clean Energy Works Oregon as a sustainably funded energy efficiency program. 

A new national report from an independent non-profit, the American Council for Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), highlights Clean Energy Works Oregon as a national model for sustainably-funded energy efficiency programs in the US. The ACEEE works to advance energy efficient programs and policies on the national level.

The original Portland-only version of CEWO (“Clean Energy Works Portland”) was seeded by grants from the city. The program set up a revolving loan fund that is resupplied by customer payments. Loan payments are partly offset by energy savings and are tacked onto customers’ utility bills. Thanks to the program’s early success and innovative funding model the program attracted $20 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Energy in the summer of 2010 to allow it to expand statewide.

In a recent video segment about her Clean Energy Works Oregon experienceJulia, a Hammer & Hand client, shared her thoughts about the CEWO financing she used to pay for her 1940s home’s energy retrofit.

“To have [the loan] added into your utilities bill is just great, especially because the bill gets lower and you don’t notice the extra money tacked on,” said Julia.

The report makes the case for local energy programs like CEWO because they’re easier to implement than larger national programs. Local energy programs with sustainable funding can also move the market away from spottily funded incentives for certain technologies towards one where capital is available for constant improvement.

Clean Energy Works Oregon currently offers homeowners free whole house energy assessments, no money down financing, and up to $1500 in rebates for home energy retrofits. To qualify for these rebates you must own and live in a home that was built before 1993 and is not on the National Register of Historic Places.

– Cody

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