City of Bellingham
The City of Bellingham’s Community Energy Challenge (CEC) aims to substantially reduce Bellingham and Whatcom County’s consumption of electricity and natural gas through a comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit program for commercial and residential buildings. The Program created an energy efficiency “one-stop-shop” providing energy audits, project and contractor selection support, access to financing and rebates, and quality assurance. Several community partners participate in the CEC. The City of Bellingham contributed a portion of their energy efficiency stimulus funds (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants) to leverage local commercial finance. The Opportunity Council’s Building Performance Center implements retrofits. Bellingham Technical College has efficiency training programs for new contractors. Local utilities, Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Natural Gas, provide in-kind audits, a resource manager for commercial property owners, and rebates. All partners contribute to the program’s marketing.
EEFC provided support with program design, financial institution procurement, contract drafting and negotiation with Banner Bank for both single-family residential and commercial energy efficiency loan program using a Loan Loss Reserve structure and interest rate buy-down provisions.