The City of Bellingham
is working to develop
strategies to maintain and enhance our role as a national leader in climate
protection by reducing the environmental impact of municipal operations.
The City is working to develop and implement a Climate Action Plan for responding to impacts from global warming.
Bellingham was awarded $780,100 in federal funding for energy conservation and sustainability projects.
The Resource Conservation program provides coordination and leadership for effective and efficient management of all utility resources, including electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater, refuse, and recycling. One of the first steps was to create an energy audit and energy reduction plan for all city-owned facilities.
The City, in partnership with Whatcom County, is coordinating a citizen advisory group (Energy Resource Scarcity Peak Oil Task Force (ERSPO)) to come up with recommendations that will help prepare the community for energy scarcity including long term decline in oil production.
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) funded a 2kw solar project on the roof of the Environmental Learning Center (ELC) which was installed in late July 2007. An interactive, flash-animated kiosk located at the center, later to be moved to Bellingham’s City Hall, further increases the educational value of the project. The kiosk details the live and historical performance system and visually depicts how solar electricity is generated. To date, the ELC roof has generated enough electricity to power 15 homes for a day, eliminating generation of green house gasses equivalent to that created by 33 average US cars in a day (895 lbs). A PSE-funded 2kw solar project, initiated in Fall 2007, is underway for the south facing parking shed at Depot Market Square. Project completion is slated for December 2008.
Bellingham became the #1 EPA certified Green Power Community in the nation in early 2007, and again in 2008. The City has committed to purchasing 100% Green Power for municipal operations. Implementation of a comprehensive municipal energy use policy can save the City of Bellingham from 10-40% on annual energy bills, and will help offset the increased cost of our Green Power purchase agreement.