Building Electrification Program

The Building Electrification Program provides funding for multifamily residential and commercial building owners and tenants to deploy and demonstrate grid-enabled, high-efficiency, all-electric buildings that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the path to zero-energy. This includes shifting from fossil fuels to high-efficiency electric equipment and systems, control systems that enable grid integration or demand control, and on-site renewable generation and efficiency measures.

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Building Electrification Updates

Community benefits at the forefront of nearly $10 million in Commerce building electrification grants

Maximizing energy efficiency and electrification of large buildings are key to meeting state clean energy and environmental justice goals.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $9.7 million in Clean Energy Fund grants to support decarbonization of buildings throughout the state. The Building Electrification grant program funds deployment of grid-interactive buildings and installation of high-efficiency electric equipment. Eligible grant applicants included state and local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, utilities, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and individual owners of multifamily residential and commercial buildings.

Buildings are the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after transportation.

“Supporting decarbonization and improved energy efficiency in the buildings sector is a key element of our 2021 State Energy Strategy to achieve energy independence and meet our aggressive emission reduction goals,” said Commerce Assistant Director Michael Furze. “These projects are great examples of public and private sector partners working together to reduce climate impacts in ways that directly benefit communities throughout Washington state.”

Commerce selected 17 projects from 50 applications requesting a total of over $28 million in funding.

  • $1 million to City of Bellevue to support the Energy Smart Eastside heat pump installation program serving households in the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Redmond. The program will cover 100% of installation costs for an estimated 200 low-income households replacing oil and gas HVAC equipment.
  • $1 million to Covington Water District to install a battery bank and modified switch gear to eliminate the use of a diesel backup generator and allow the administrative campus in Covington to operate without grid power. The ability to island will allow the district to continue to provide potable water during power outages and emergency events.
  • $1 million to Griffin School District #324 to replace failing propane-fired boilers with high-efficiency water-to-air heat pumps that work with a ground-source loop system at the Griffin School District building in Olympia. The school district will significantly reduce energy and maintenance costs, and will be among the first school districts in Washington to use a ground-source system.
  • $1 million to Island County to replace fuel oil boilers and inefficient HVAC equipment with new air-source heat pumps and outdoor air system, along with whole-building energy efficiency measures and solar, at the Island County Administrative Building in Coupeville. The county will use the project to help develop a local workforce capable of helping increase energy efficiency and zero-energy buildings.
  • $1 million to YMCA of Grays Harbor to support the total project cost of installing a high-efficiency air handling and dehumidification heat pump system for the pool at YMCA in Hoquiam. Patrons will benefit from improved indoor air quality, and the YMCA can use the energy savings to continue offer programs for low-income households, long-term facility sustainability and abide by new state Clean Buildings Standards.
  • $990,668 to Passages Family Support (Spokane) to replace a gas furnace with air-source heat pumps at their property in Spokane. The project removes a significant amount of high-global-warming-potential refrigerants, and will improve comfort and indoor air quality for patients.
  • $812,692 to Everett Housing Authority to install a high-efficiency heat pump water heating system with demand response capabilities to replace the all-natural gas hot water system of the Bakerview Apartments in Everett. The project is expected to reduce the property’s energy bills by over 30%, and serve as a demonstration for decarbonizing water heating in multifamily buildings.
  • $771,084 to Federal Way Public Schools to install a building automation system and energy management and information system at Elementary School 24 in Federal Way. The systems will be implemented as part of a collaboration with Puget Sound Energy and Edo to reduce energy demand during peak times, saving energy and reducing the school district’s utility bills.
  • $629,865 to Ocosta School District (Westport) to deploy a solar plus storage system with an integrated microgrid control system on the tsunami shelter at Ocosta Elementary School in Westport. Located in a tsunami zone, the project will provide power to tsunami evacuation towers during natural disasters.
  • $250,328 to Red Willow Residence (Seattle) to install control systems paired with solar photovoltaic and battery storage at Red Willow Residence in Seattle. The new systems will allow the building manager and tenants to interact with the grid, and could reduce building energy use to zero.
  • $241,982 to South Seattle College to convert all the gas-powered and inefficient electric kitchen equipment at the Alki Kitchen on the South Seattle campus to high-efficiency electric equipment and induction ranges. The kitchen serves as an instructional lab, and will be used to train culinary students on the use of all-electric equipment.
  • $241,909 to Twisp Valley Grange #482 to retrofit the Grange Hall in Twisp with a high-efficiency heat pumps, install a load management system to reduce peak loads, and insulate the building to R-21. The Grange Hall will serve the community as a refuge from extreme heat and unhealthy air conditions from wildfires.
  • $240,385 to Seattle Central College to upgrade electrical service and add an additional heat pump to disconnect gas service from the Science and Math, Broadway Edison, and Broadway Performance Hall buildings in Seattle. The buildings will tie into the Eco District partnership with McKinstry Essention.
  • $150,000 to Amara (Tacoma) to replace the gas furnaces and oil tank with high-efficiency heat pumps at their office in Tacoma, and pair the new equipment with energy efficiency upgrades and solar. The project will reduce Amara’s energy costs and provide resiliency to the operation of their Family Resource Center food bank.
  • $138,334 to Harborview Medical Center to convert all gas space and water heating with heat pumps, and disconnect gas service from the Harborview Children’s Center in Seattle. Removing fossil fuels from the building will protect the health of employees and the pre-school age children that the Children’s Center serves.
  • $132,731 to A8 Growth LLC (Bellingham) for solar photovoltaic, battery storage, charging and control systems at their industrial property in Bellingham. This will allow tenants to continue to operate during power outages, significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, charge electric vehicles on site, and allow Puget Sound Energy to shift or modulate building energy use.
  • $100,000 to City of Port Angeles to install a new control system at City Hall in Port Angeles. The new system will reduce HVAC operating times, resulting in significant energy savings that the city can directly use to benefit the community.

Washington’s Clean Energy Fund was established by the Washington State Legislature in 2013 ito provide public benefits through the deployment of clean energy technologies that save energy and reduce energy costs, reduce harmful air emissions, or otherwise increase energy independence for the state. To meet Washington’s climate emission reduction goals for the buildings sector, the 2021 State Energy Strategy recommends maximizing energy efficiency and electrification.

The Building Electrification grant program is intended to support the continued decarbonization of buildings to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions limits for buildings, reduce energy burdens for priority communities, and reduce market barriers to the broad adoption of all-electric buildings. Further information is available on the Building Electrification Grant webpage.