Initiative could ease access to financing for ‘green’ projects

October 29, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 29, 2012

Businesses, nonprofit organizations and other groups could receive easier access to low-interest financing for “green” projects under a proposal from King County Executive Dow Constantine.

In legislation proposed Oct. 23, Constantine said the county should create the first Green Communities Initiative in the state.

Under the proposal sent to the King County Council, the county could promote and help groups and businesses access below-market-rate interest financing tools offered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission for energy conservation and other environmentally beneficial projects.

Examples could include projects, such as a commercial building bundling a number of conservation projects for energy savings, or a group interested in borrowing money to construct a communitywide solar energy project.

“The Green Community Initiative is about getting helpful financing tools into the hands of groups and businesses in King County that want to make serious strides in energy efficiency, investing in renewable energy or reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Constantine said in a statement.

The measure aims to enable King County to assist the Housing Finance Commission in soliciting and evaluating projects in King County that qualify for the commission’s loan programs, including Federal Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds.

Officials said the program should not cost the county, other than providing some staff time to promote the financing programs and evaluate projects.

The initiative could also enable county residents and businesses to access lower-cost financing for sustainable projects to conserve energy and water, and promote environmental sustainability.

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