The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions on our Island comes from the use of electricity. The recently approved Bainbridge Island Climate Action Plan (CAP) recommends actions to both green our energy supply and to reduce our energy demand. In order to meet our goals, we will need to significantly increase our efforts to reduce our energy consumption.
Increasing energy efficiency and energy conservation measures for homes and businesses takes money. In addition, if we want to generate our own local power that also requires resources. Puget Sound Energy provides incentive programs for homeowners and businesses to conserve energy, but to reach our goals more is needed.
It is important that all people regardless of their economic means should have an opportunity to share in the benefits of reducing their energy bills. With this in mind, one of the 18 immediate actions in the CAP is the establishment of a Green Energy and Building Fund.
The Green Energy and Building Fund would provide incentives to building owners and residents to increase electrification conversions and battery storage and to assist in energy audits for residential home projects, including affordable housing (e.g., install energy conservation measures, provide financial incentives for existing building owners to transition from propane, fuel oil, and wood stoves to all electric buildings).
The first step in developing the program is to establish a working group consisting of people from the City, Climate Change Advisory Committee, Green Building Task Force, Race Equity Task Force, and City Council. The working group would provide periodic updates to the City Council on progress in developing the program.
For more information on the Clean Energy and Building Fund you can go to: https://www.bainbridgewa.gov/922/Climate-Change-Advisory-Committee.