Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Introducing new, even lower interest rates on all CEC loans

We are very happy to announce that all Banner Bank loans for Community Energy Challenge projects now have interest rates between 1.00%-3.00% for individuals1 and 1.50%-3.00% for businesses2.

As a key element of making energy efficiency accessible, affordable and easy, the Community Energy Challenge provides preferential term financing through the use of a loan loss reserve fund. Using a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the CEC was able to buy down interest rates on loans for energy efficiency improvements through our partner Banner Bank. This provides participants with an exceptionally cost-effective way to finance their projects and extends financing to those who might not otherwise be eligible, reducing the interest paid by borrowers.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

City of Bellingham offers water saving rebates

The Community Energy Challenge and the City Water Conservation Program have teamed up to offer rebates to city water customers participating in the CEC. The rebates, up to $150, apply to certain water conserving fixtures, drip irrigation systems, or rainwater catchment systems. They are intended to make it easier for participants to save water as they save energy and to educate about the relationship between the two. “Pairing these two programs recognizes the important link between energy and water use,” said Anitra Accetturo, Water Conservation Specialist. “Conserving water conserves energy, and conserving energy conserves water,” said Accetturo.

Case in point, a recent study looking at the energy used by the city’s water and wastewater treatment systems found that for every 100 cubic feet of city water that is saved, $0.37 in energy and chemical costs are saved. As Bellingham works to meet the state mandate of a fully metered water system, homeowners reducing their water use can benefit from lower water bills and help reduce the energy and chemical costs associated with supplying drinking water.

For more information about the rebate program, contact Andrea at