The Bellingham City Council supports local efforts to increase energy efficiency, encourage renewables, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The City Council provided critical support for the Bellingham community's participation in a nationwide Georgetown University Energy Prize competition to reduce energy use in residential and City buildings. Bellingham finished 3rd in the nation out of 50 U.S. communities. The City supports expanded use of renewable energy via a streamlined renewable energy permitting program and encourages adoption of green building techniques. The City has a Climate Protection Action Plan, and is currently updating that plan to strengthen targets for reducing energy use and emissions.
The City makes information on energy saving programs available to residents, supports the Community Energy Challenge energy efficiency program, and allocates some of its federal community development dollars to the Opportunity Council's low income Weatherization Program. Recent City projects have reduced the energy intensity of City operations, including a LED retrofit of all City-owned street lights, and the installation of energy efficient equipment in the City sewage treatment plant.