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Project works to improve energy efficiency

More than 175 South Hill residents have signed-up with SustainableWorks to make their homes more energy efficient and lower their carbon footprint.

Sustainable Works
Sustainable Works booth at the Earth Day Celebration

SustainableWorks, a Spokane based nonprofit, is partnering with Washington State University Extension, Avista Utilities, the City of Spokane Office of Sustainability, the Spokane Alliance and others to offer reduced-cost energy audits and home retrofits.

Stimulus funds help homeowners and renters—with landlord approval—make improvements that reduce energy use and energy bills, said Luke Tolley, SustainableWorks organizer in Spokane.

Participants save on items like furnaces, water heaters, insulation and air sealing. 

SustainableWorks has done 200 audits and 100 retrofits in other neighborhoods, he reported.

“Participants are saving up to 40 percent on their energy bills, and benefiting from increased comfort in their homes,” he said.

South Hill residents can participate through June.  The goal is to sign up 500 residents. 

If the goal is reached, Luke said that the project will reduce carbon emissions by 300,000 pounds annually and create 15 full-time, living-wage jobs to do the work.

The process begins with a pre-audit to determine eligibility followed by a professional energy audit  An energy consultant explains where the home is losing energy and suggests the cost-effective improvements. Contractors managed by SustainableWorks complete the measures the homeowner chooses.

Projects are designed to pay for themselves with energy savings.

 SustainableWorks is using a $4-million Community Energy Efficiency Program Grant to retrofit up to 2,000 homes and small businesses in moderate-income neighborhoods in Spokane, Pierce, King and Snohomish counties over the next two years, producing about 120 full-time jobs, as well as reducing carbon emissions by 3,000 tons.

For information, call 532-1688, email luke.tolley@sustainableworks.com or visit www.sustainableworks.com.