On September 30, the Boston Redevelopment Authority began accepting applications for the Green Triple Decker Program, which will provide grants of up to $27,000 to Boston triple decker owners looking to complete energy efficient renovations. Like Renew Boston, the Green Triple Decker Program looks to promote energy efficiency in people’s homes. However, the program’s approach is unique because it targets a specific segment of Boston’s population. In less than 3 weeks, the first stage of the application process was suspended due to a flood of interested applicants.
Across the country, many cities are expanding green retrofits programs. Last month, Milwaukee launched Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2), which enables residents to pay for efficiency upgrades through savings on their monthly electric bills. In April, the federal government awarded $20 million to Milwaukee and its partner cities of Madison and Racine to promote Me2 and the state program We2. This grant bolstered $100 million in private investment. To create jobs, Me2 requires that 40% of work hours performed on projects by each contractor in a 6-month period be performed by currently unemployed or underemployed residents of Milwaukee. So, Me2 seeks not only to promote energy efficiency, but also local employment.
Like Boston, London is targeting a specific segment of its population to promote energy efficiency. Because commercial buildings are responsible for nearly 1/3 of London’s total emissions, the city is focusing on this sector to achieve its goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 60% before 2025. London’s Better Buildings Partnership (BPP) and Green500 are encouraging the city’s largest commercial property and business owners to reduce carbon emissions in their buildings. The main tool of BBP is green leases, which are formal agreements between landowners & tenants that create contractual obligations to promote sustainability. The leases work best for multi-occupant buildings in which tenants cannot control energy and water usage without landlord intervention. A toolkit details how owners and tenants can work together to monitor energy and water usage to determine best strategies for reducing usage and to make decisions on replacing equipment, or adjusting settings. In place for one year, the program has fourteen of London’s largest landowners participating, which represents over 15% of London’s total commercial property.
Created by the London Development Authority, Green500 is a mentorship program that provides companies individualized green actions plans, financial savings estimates, and implementation assistance. London’s mayor gives annual performance awards to those companies that best achieve their goals. To date, Green500 is reported to have saved 476,103 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
For more information about the Green Triple Decker Program and other green initiatives in Boston, visit the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s blog GREENTECHBOSTON.ORG. As the overwhelming interest in the Green Triple Decker Program shows, a great approach for expanding Boston’s green initiatives may be to tailor programs to specific groups. The question is, what other groups should green programs be designed for?