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Building Energy Retrofits
The Green Boot Camp: Helping U.S. Cities Save Energy and Create Green Jobs
OverviewMay 31 - June 02, 2009Presenters:
Ash Institute, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston
Stephen Goldsmith, Director, Innovations in American Government Program, Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Ben Hecht, President & CEO, Living Cities
Auden Schendler, Executive Director of Community and Environmental Responsibility, Aspen Skiing Company
Stockton Williams, Director of Green Economy Initiatives, Living Cities
15 city and regional teams attended the Boot Camp. To foster the collaboration that will be crucial for successful retrofit programs, each team included senior climate, energy, and economic development officials.
- Babylon, NY
- Baltimore, MD
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Cleveland, OH
- Detroit, MI
- Flagstaff, AZ
- Louisville, KY
- Milwaukee, WI
- Newark, NJ
- New York, NY
- Philadelphia, PA
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Twin Cities, MN
Resource GuideThe purpose of this Guide is to help cities and states improve, accelerate and scale up their building energy retrofit efforts by compiling and synthesizing much of the best available information and the most promising approaches.May 31, 2009
City Leaders Roll Up Their Sleeves
As stimulus money rolls out to cities and towns this summer, communities are recognizing this unprecedented opportunity to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while creating new jobs. But many city leaders need assistance in figuring out how to use this money most wisely for the largest impact.
Together with Living Cities, a consortium of 21 foundations and financial institutions, ISC organized a Green Boot Camp—an intensive training and peer-learning program—at Harvard’s Kennedy School. The camp focused on promising practices for improving, accelerating, and scaling up integrated building energy retrofits and associated green job creation.
U.S. buildings, the bulk of which are in urban areas, use 70% of the total electricity load, and account for about 43% of total carbon dioxide emissions.
“The good news is that urban building retrofitting is among the most cost-effective of all climate solutions,” says Steve Nicholas, ISC’s Vice President for U.S. Programs. “And many cities have found creative ways to retrofit their buildings. We want to help them scale up these efforts to really impact global warming while jump-starting the green job sector for low-income people and saving money—a triple bottom line.”
Peer networking and learning were at the heart of the camp. Panels of experts and on-the-ground practitioners answered questions on everything from how to get buy-in from large numbers of building owners to how to leverage recovery dollars to create sustainable financing mechanisms.
From the Seattle team, for example, Sue Taoka, executive vice president for ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, discussed that city’s revolving loan model that is helping homeowners offset the initial investment of a retrofit, while Steve Morgan of Clean Energy Solutions outlined key elements of a successful large-scale retrofit effort gleaned from best practices from several cities.
Many city leaders commented on how unusual it is for city officials responsible for energy, workforce and economic development to have the opportunity to gather together and explore new ways of approaching important issues. But this kind of collaboration is critical if leaders want to move beyond working building by building to retrofitting on a citywide scale.
“This is just absolutely amazing to see you here, “ said Gil Sperling of the U.S. Department of Energy, who oversees the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, a key Recovery Act funding source. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am that all of you would take the time to do this, which is why I am taking the time away from the things that I do because this is really important.”
By the end of the camp, leaders from each city were reinvigorated and prepared to return to their cities to tackle the next steps. Some, for example, set specific targets to retrofit half their buildings in 10 years’ time. Others committed to creating a revolving loan program modeled on those already underway in several cities. Many said that they would continue to meet as a team to move their plans forward. The San Francisco team, whose members met for the first time at the airport, said they would work together to build a coordinated, systems-based approach.
LEADERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABILITYJUL 16 - JUL 18, 2012 ANN ARBOR, MI
CLIMATE ADAPTATION & RESILIENCEOCT 03 - OCT 05, 2012 PORTLAND, OR
LOW CARBON TRANSPORTATIONNOV 14 - NOV 16, 2012 MINNEAPOLIS, MN
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES & ECONOMIESOCT 01 - OCT 03, 2012 DENVER, CO
CLIMATE ADAPTATION & RESILIENCENOV. 7-9, 2012 ANN ARBOR, MI USA
LOW CARBON TRANSPORTATION & LEADERSHIP SUSTAINABILITYDEC 5, 2012 CHICAGO, IL USA
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES & ECONOMIESJAN 14 - 16, 2013 NEW ORLEANS, LA USA