Atlanta Awaits City Council Vote on Energy-efficiency Retrofit Funding

Ygrene Energy Fund, a provider of clean-energy finance programs for local governments, has announced that Invest Atlanta, the Economic Development Authority for the city of Atlanta has voted to unlock up to $200 million in energy retrofit financing via the Clean Energy Atlanta program. Available to commercial and multifamily residential building owners in Atlanta’s central business district, Ygrene will spearhead this major initiative projected to create as many as 3,000 jobs and inject up to $530 million in economic activity for Atlanta’s economy.

“Now is the time to implement intelligent programs that offer both economic and environmental benefits immediately,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said. “Clean Energy Atlanta paves the way to finance and implement extensive energy savings while adding value to Atlanta property and creating thousands of local jobs. We are ready to get started right away.”

Clean Energy Atlanta is a landmark initiative that provides private funding for building energy upgrades at no installation cost, repaid through property tax assessments. The program is a one-stop-shop for financing and administering project deployment, connecting owners of eligible buildings with qualified local contractors to perform the renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades. With this approval from Invest Atlanta, the program now continues to the City Council for a final vote.

“This vote is a major step toward helping the city of Atlanta achieve its vision of a sustainable, economically vibrant community,” said Dan Schaefer, Ygrene Energy Fund President. “The jobs created by this program will drive growth and attract reinvestment across sectors—finance, real estate, construction and more—to ensure a prosperous future for the region.”

The fund Ygrene will administer will give owners of downtown commercial properties access to capital to upgrade their buildings and better compete for tenants and residents, said Brian P. McGowan, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta.

This forward-thinking initiative is part of a citywide plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 7 percent by the end of 2012, as part of the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement in 2005. Atlanta was one of the first cities to join in the Obama Administration’s Better Buildings Challenge—a federal initiative to increase energy efficiency in buildings by 20 percent over the next decade and reduce energy costs for American businesses by nearly $40 billion.

Building owners and contractors within designated jurisdictions in the city of Atlanta’s Clean Energy District can sign up online to receive updates regarding program launch and upcoming contractor training events. Visit the Clean Energy Atlanta website.

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