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Gov. Inslee Announces $18 Million in Energy-Saving Job Grants – But None in Tri-Cities

Energy Grant Program to fund dozens of projects
(WA State Department of Commerce website)

Gov. Jay Inslee’s office announced over $18 million in job-creation grants Wednesday expected to save energy from a wide variety of projects across the state.

37 local governments and 18 colleges and universities will split the money for what is called the Energy Efficiency Grant Program.  It’s a venture of the Washington Department of Commerce. The programs are designed to provide jobs for people who work on projects that will increase energy efficiency in buildings and other public-use structures. The goal is to provide long-term savings through energy efficiency.

None of the projects are in the Mid-Columbia. Funding for various projects went to Yakima Valley Community College, Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Davenport City in Lincoln County and Spokane. Mabton and Royal City also received funding for energy upgrade projects, as did the Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax. The rest of the projects are on the West Side.

While some 543 jobs could be created, they are mostly one-and-done, short-lived projects. The Department of Commerce website said the following:

The immediate goal of the program is to stimulate Washington’s economy by creating jobs. The long-term goal is to reduce energy costs at the state’s public education facilities and local agencies. 

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