Cantwell Announces $20 Million for Energy Efficient Building Upgrades in Seattle

Funding makes energy efficiency accessible to hundreds of thousands of homeowners, businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced $20 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to make buildings more energy efficient in Seattle. The recipient of the funding, Seattle’s Neighborhood Weatherize Every Building (WEB) Initiative to Power Change, seeks to drastically reduce carbon emissions by fostering a clean energy economy that relies on energy efficiency as a primary source of power. The project targets single-family homes for building retrofits, with a secondary focus on multifamily dwellings, small businesses including grocery stores and restaurants, large commercial buildings, hospitals, and municipal facilities. WEB is partnering with more than 40 public, private and nonprofit organizations.


 “Washington state and Seattle in particular have long been leading the nation in green building design and clean energy technology, and this project will advance our innovative efforts to transition to a clean energy economy,” said Cantwell.  “This funding represents a critically important investment in taking control of our energy future and the next generation of family-wage jobs.”


The $20 million Washington is receiving is part of $452 million in energy efficiency building retrofit funding announced today by Vice President Biden for 25 communities nationally. Each grant represents a partnership between communities, governments and non-profit organizations that will work together on concentrated and broad-based retrofits of neighborhoods and towns – and eventually entire states – making energy efficiency accessible to hundreds of thousands of homeowners and businesses. The 25 projects will leverage an estimated $2.8 billion dollars from the private sector over the next three years. Nationwide, the program was eight times oversubscribed, with more than $3.5 billion in applications submitted for the just over $450 million in Recovery Act funds available, indicating significant demand for investment in energy-saving and job-creating projects.   


The Retrofit Ramp-Up projects are part of the overall $80 billion Recovery Act investment in clean energy and energy-efficiency. The awards are the competitive portion of DOE’s Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which was funded for the first time under the Recovery Act to help state, local and tribal communities make strategic investments in improving energy efficiency, and in reducing energy use and fossil fuel emissions.