RePower Bainbridge
RePower Bainbridge
October 3, 2011

How citizens on Bainbridge Island came together and created an option to change behavior through energy use, move closer to carbon neutrality and become a model for other communities.

"We’ve seen a 50 percent decrease in our heating costs and our overall energy costs are down approximately 35 percent.” - Matt Olson, Bainbridge Island homeowner and RePower Bainbridge participant

RePower Bainbridge is a collaborative effort to create a more sustainable island through energy assessments, cash-back incentives, energy-efficiency financing and a network of local, skilled contractors to help residents achieve increased comfort and energy savings in their homes and businesses.

RePower Bainbridge was initiated in July 2010, when the City of Bainbridge Island was selected as one of 20 communities in the United States to receive a BetterBuildings award from U.S. Department of Energy and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Underlying Problem: On average, Bainbridge Island residents consume 60 percent more electricity than Puget Sound Energy’s average customer. A key reason—less than half of Bainbridge Island homes are up to current energy code standards and fewer than 20 percent of those homes are properly insulated. These inefficiencies create a significant opportunity for the average homeowner to achieve energy and dollar savings.

The Carbon Math:  RePower Bainbridge has set the ambitious goal of completing energy assessments in 4,000 homes and energy upgrades in 2,000 homes. These improvements will result in more than 15 percent energy savings in each home or business involved. This level of savings will reduce approximately 7,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of removing 1,300 passenger cars from the road for a year!

Stimulating the Economy: Getting involved in RePower Bainbridge—which is predicted to create 65 full-time, local, clean energy jobs in the community—helps the entire Puget Sound economy. More energy-efficient homes have reduced energy costs and increased comfort, both of which can boost the market value of a home.

Key Players:

RePower Bainbridge - featuring Hilary Franz

RePower Bainbridge is a community-wide program dedicated to helping Bainbridge Islanders save energy, reduce costs, make their home more comfortable and create a more sustainable Island. RePower Bainbridge provides in-home energy assessments, energy-efficiency financing and incentives, and a local, skilled workforce to make achieving these goals easier and more affordable. The City of Bainbridge Island is one of 20 communities in the United States to receive a BetterBuildings award from the U.S. Department of Energy and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and implemented by the City of Bainbridge Island, Positive Energy and Kitsap Credit Union.

Positive Energy - featuring Eric Rehm

Positive Energy is an alliance of Bainbridge Island citizens and organizations actively committed to creating a clean energy future for the Island. It was founded in May 2009 following a community call to action to increase awareness of energy challenges on and off the island and to help the community reduce their energy costs through clean energy solutions.


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Author Bio

Bobby is former Solutions Stories and Media Manager with Climate Solutions. In that role, he worked to identify and engage new audiences for our programs and campaigns throughout the Northwest, with a focus on the Solutions Stories.

Bobby spent six years as the National Representative at the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition (SOS), mobilizing support to restore the Columbia-Snake River Basin, a watershed home to some of the world’s best habitat for wild salmon and steelhead in a changing climate.

After receiving his degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon in 2003, he advocated on behalf of working people and the environment. In addition to SOS, Bobby has worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 503) and America Coming Together, and volunteered for the Trout Unlimited, Elders in Action, and UNITE HERE.

Bobby hails from central Pennsylvania and has lived in Oregon since 1998. When he's not working, Bobby can be found with his partner Jenny and their cat Jove, playing music with friends, out and about on his bike, or working in the garden.

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