As promised, I’ve been doing some research on how local jurisdictions are using their Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant dollars. We’ve collected info from 30 of the 41 jurisdictions so far, and the results are very interesting. A wide variety of projects, with about two-thirds of the money going to 1) lighting, HVAC and window upgrades to municipal buildings, public facilities and streetlights; 2) loan, grants & loan loss reserves for residential & commercial retrofits; 3) energy audits to help identify the work for #2; and 4) weatherization of low-income housing.
As is our monthly ritual, a quick update on major awards and opportunities with regard to the Recovery Act:
1) Not too many changes, award-wise. We’re up to $897,869,521.56 from more than 560 projects directly related to our region’s industry clusters, although $350 million of that is an 8-year award to a company based here but doing work in Texas.
2) The Recovery Act bus tour a few weeks ago was a huge success. You can find a number of the presentations and the agenda here under “December 11, 2009 – Recovery Act Industry Cluster Tour.”
3) Finally, I’ve laid out an up-to-date list of relevant current Recovery Act funding opportunities (with links to each!). Check them out, and see if you’d like to apply!
Yesterday, I wondered aloud about why a Texas energy project funded by the Department of Energy through the Recovery Act was listed as being based in Bainbridge Island, WA. As loyal commenter “Frank” pointed out, it’s because they are indeed based in Bainbridge Island, WA, right there on good ol’ Winslow Way. Of course, the Seattle Times had already picked that up, but what am I supposed to do…read the news?
Anyway, it’s $350 million over 8 years, which is a lot of Bainbridge Island ferry passes, if you know what I mean. But again, what it does is add another notch to the central Puget Sound’s belt of carbon capture leadership. We should get all the related local folks together and see what sparks.
So, as your humble Recovery Act analyst, I scour the departmental websites for updates on funding announcements and new grant opportunities. And I’m always overjoyed to see one of our region’s jurisdictions mentioned as an awardee…until now. Read the rest of this entry »
As conversations continue to advance about a “jobs bill” (not to be confused with a “second stimulus” in any way), there are a lot of ideas floating around out there about what should be funded and how. But probably the biggest criteria is when, as in “as soon as possible;” the long timeline of Recovery Act fund distribution is not going to be tolerated for this go around. But, let’s not throw away the baby with the bathwater! Read the rest of this entry »
It’s getting to be that time of year when people start doing annual recaps; this year, folks get to have even more fun with decade recaps as well. My very favorite of these – the New York Times Magazines’ Year in Ideas issues – is going to come out soon, and I can hardly contain my glee. We here at the Prosperity Blog have also had a good year of ideas, generating all sorts of practical proposals for improving our region’s business climate and competitiveness. But, of course, we have also had lots of impractical, sky’s-the-limit ideas that we hope someone is going to take and run with and make all our dreams come true. So, for all you good-idea-awaiting folks out there, here’s a summary of some of our “Big Ideas of 2009”, presented in Top Ten format: Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what to do with the information that we’re collecting on Recovery Act awards to industry cluster related activities. It’s certainly nice to know in general, but I’ve always said that we have to make sure that these dollars aren’t just a one-time windfall, but actually contribute to the long-term success of our regional economic development strategy. So I’ve started to think about the Recovery Act funds in three groups: Read the rest of this entry »