Cambridge, Massachusetts has earned a reputation as a community promoting forward-thinking energy and environmental policies. From sustainable building to transportation and green collar jobs, Cambridge’s stated goal is to become the “greenest city in America” (they’re currently at number 6 according to Popular Science).
The Cambridge Energy Alliance is a major step toward that goal.
Featured last week on the PBS program NOW, the Cambridge Energy Alliance is a city-sponsored non-profit group aimed at lowering the city’s carbon footprint, increasing energy efficiency and water conservation (thus cutting participants energy bills), and helping promote green collar jobs and business opportunity in an otherwise downturned building market.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the building sector comprises 48% of the increase in carbon emissions in the United States since 1990. Up to 80% of carbon emissions in urban areas come from buildings.
The CEA aims to reduce Cambridge’s carbon footprint by 10% in five years through an innovative program that provides energy auditing, renovation, and financing – all in a relatively simple “one-stop-shop” process. Loans for proposed renovations made through the program are designed to pay for themselves through savings from lowered energy costs.
If the CEA program meets its ambitious target of enlisting 50% of the city’s building stock into the program within the next five to six years, there will be plenty of work for green collar workers trained in the new methods and materials to implement the efficiency upgrades for all those buildings.
The program’s success will serve as a model to roll out to communities and municipalities across the nation.
Note: If you like what the Cambridge Energy Alliance is doing, and you’ve got the chops, there’s an opportunity to become it’s next CEO. Check their website for more info.
The March 2007 launch of Cambridge Energy Alliance