April 23, 2010
NEWS FROM THE MAYOR
This week marked the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The emerging green economy has great potential to create good paying jobs in the City of Milwaukee. Throughout City government, we are investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy to improve our bottom line. Now, I’m pleased to announce that we will be launching a community-wide effort called Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (ME2) that will create hundreds of private-sector green jobs while reducing energy bills and pollution, improving our housing stock, and helping the City become energy independent.
ME2 is a voluntary program to help homeowners afford the up-front costs for weatherization, new heating equipment, and other energy saving upgrades in their home. The program will pair a new loan offer with existing Focus on Energy incentives and federal tax credits. Homeowners can then repay the ME2 loan as they reap the energy savings. The program will also reduce the hassle factor for homeowners by guiding them through the entire weatherization process. It is expected to launch later this year.
Wednesday, the White House announced that the City of Milwaukee and its partner cities of Madison and Racine will receive $20 million from the US Department of Energy to “Ramp-up” ME2 to a large scale. The funds will leverage an additional $100 million of private investment in energy efficiency. By using the funds to structure an innovative loan program rather than a grant program, ME2 will finance energy efficiency over many years. In this way, workers who are trained to do energy efficiency work will have sustainable job prospects and many more people will be able to participate in the program. We will also help finance energy improvements for small businesses and other commercial and industrial properties.
The Milwaukee proposal was one of just 25 awards nationally. My Office of Environmental Sustainability played a critical role in winning this highly competitive grant. The Office of Environmental Sustainability collaborated with more than thirty partner organizations and worked closely with the Common Council to put the ME2 policy framework in place.
I hope you’ll take advantage of this unique program and make an investment in energy efficiency or renewable energy in your home or business this year.
Mayor, City of Milwaukee
Visit my website at: http://www.city.milwaukee.gov/mayor