Commerce awards $8 million for energy cost savings projects

Funds go to higher education institutions across Washington

The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced nearly $8 million in grants to create jobs and to help seven higher education institutions lower their energy costs.

An estimated 121 jobs will be created by construction spending on these projects. The total cost for all the projects is about $15 million, including more than $6 million in non-state funding.

Commerce’s Energy Efficiency Grant program’s immediate goal is to stimulate Washington’s economy by creating jobs. The long-term goal is to reduce energy costs at the state’s public higher education institutions and local government facilities.

New lighting, boilers, controls, and water saving toilets and faucets are some of the energy and water saving measures that will be installed.

“These energy and water saving measures are expected to save each higher education institution as much as $150,000 annually,” said Commerce Deputy Director Dan McConnon. “That puts money directly back into higher education at a time when budgets are tight.”

The 2012 Legislature appropriated $20 million for higher education and $18 million for local governments, including a specific set aside of at least 10 percent for small cities or towns (populations of 5,000 or less). This is the third round of awards. Higher education and local government recipients were announced in August 2012 and March 2013.

Round three higher education grant recipients are:

  • Bellevue College, $1,185,000
  • Columbia Basin College, $1,762,301
  • Edmonds Community College, $1,971,537
  • Peninsula College – Fort Warden, $692,374
  • Peninsula College – Forks, $1,307,114
  • South Puget Sound Community College, $508,490
  • The Evergreen State College, $664,100

The grants were awarded through a competitive process and must be used solely for energy and operational cost saving improvements. Projects for the third round of funding were selected from 10 grant applications requesting a total of more than $11 million.

Together, all three award rounds will create an estimated 1,064 jobs and total project costs of $132 million, including $90 million in non-state funding.


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