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Bellevue sees benefit in stimulus investments
Bellevue is marking the successful completion of its nine American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded grant projects with the release of a video – “Bellevue: Driving the EVolution” (on Bellevue’s YouTube Channel). The video highlights a keystone project – the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in collaboration with regional and state partners.
The stimulus grant was awarded in 2009 on the heels of the Great Recession in order to spur innovation and create jobs, at a time when most people had not even heard of cars without tailpipes.
Fast forward to 2012. With charging stations in Bellevue and all along the West Coast, electric vehicle drivers can now travel the I-5 corridor from Canada to Mexico without needing a drop of gasoline. The result is that businesses and individuals investing in electric cars are saving thousands of dollars in fuel costs per year, and getting around easily without contributing to the environmental and national security issues caused by our reliance on fossil fuels.
A $1.2 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation block grant through ARRA also helped the city implement energy efficiency and resource conservation projects that will save natural resources and money on an ongoing basis. These included:
City Hall lighting upgrades, which save an estimated $10,000 per year;
Parks facility and ball field lighting upgrades, which save an estimated $30,000 per year;
Fleet hybrid and electric vehicle upgrades, which save an estimated $100,000 per year; and
Home energy reports, which saved an estimated $4.2 million during the program period in the seven participating cities (Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Redmond, Renton and Sammamish).
All of the city’s ARRA projects and investments directly boosted employment for electricians, manufacturers, installers, permitting professionals and others in related industries.