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Retrofitting Homes for Energy Efficiency in Portland

This four-page case study (2014) from The Intersector Project outlines how Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability used cross-sector collaboration to address the need to retrofit homes for increased energy efficiency.

From the Intersector Project

An estimated 40 percent of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States comes from energy used in homes. In Portland, Oregon, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability wanted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city while bettering the economic and social development of local residents and businesses. In 2009, stakeholders came together to draft a plan designed to provide energy upgrades to 500 Portland homes and cut energy consumption by 10 to 30 percent using an innovating financing model to eliminate the upfront costs that deterred homeowners from pursuing environmentally-friendly energy retrofits. Led by Derek Smith, a sustainability expert with a record of working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, collaborators came together to create Clean Energy Works Portland (CEWP), an innovative program that used a revolving loan to finance upgrades, working with local contractors to add high-quality jobs to the economy which resulted in a reduction of twenty percent or greater energy consumption in most participating homes.


“Cross-sector collaborations are the most practical and effective way to make progress in this era of massive resource constraints and necessary economic realignment.”— Derek Smith, CEO, Clean Energy Works Oregon

This case study, authored by The Intersector Project, tells the story of this initiative.

More about The Intersector ProjectThe Intersector Project
The Intersector Project is a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to empower practitioners in the government, business, and non-profit sectors to collaborate to solve problems that cannot be solved by one sector alone. We provide free, publicly available resources for practitioners from every sector to implement collaborative solutions to complex problems. We take forward several years of research in collaborative governance done at the Center for Business and Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School and expand on that research to create practical, accessible resources for practitioners.

Follow on Twitter @theintersector.

Resource Link: http://intersector.com/case/cewp_oregon/ (Download the case study PDF here.)

This resource was submitted by Neil Britto, the Executive Director at The Intersector Project via the Add-a-Resource form.

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