Community Power Works

Community Power Works has transformed the way building owners, their tenants, contractors, utilities, lenders, labor, environmental groups, and the broader community engage in energy efficiency across the Emerald City. Testing the proposition that a robust and thriving clean economy reaps significant environmental, economic, and social benefits, the City of Seattle designed and implemented the Community Power Works program after receiving a Better Buildings Neighborhood Program grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Happy CPW CustomersDuring its pilot phase, Community Power Works operated in the residential, commercial and institutional sectors. Since 2010, the program has upgraded more than 3,000 homes, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, four projects in three major hospitals, and 17 municipal buildings. Community Power Works projects will avoid 332,777 metric tons of carbon over the lifetime of efficiency measures, and the program has created more than 250,000 hours of work for 1,250 people.

Federal support for the program discontinued in 2014, but Community Power Works will continue to deliver one-stop-shop services to customers living in single family up to 4-unit homes that are heated with oil or electricity. The program is now offered in partnership with Seattle City LightSeattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment, and the Washington State Community Energy Efficiency Program, and enjoys regional collaboration with Clean Energy Works.

Visit Community Power Works  to learn more about the program today and get started on your home upgrade!

Community Power Works has generated more than $54.5 million in energy upgrades citywide, with some sectors leveraging $18 for every $1 of public investment.


How is Community Power Works generating investments in energy efficiency?

  • Homeowners and small businesses receive rebates and access to low-interest financing for energy upgrade projects.
  • Large commercial property owners are achieving 25% in energy savings without upfront capital and without increasing monthly costs.
  • Community Power Works is supporting the growth of the energy efficiency industry in our region by providing a steady stream of customers to contractors and home energy auditors in Seattle.

  • More than 253,500 hours of work have been performed on Community Power Works projects by 1,266 workers, including 1,058 contractors and energy auditors.
  • 92% of participating contractors are from the Puget Sound region, which keeps most of the dollars spent in the local economy.

  • Community Power Works has worked with the labor community to develop new ways to create a robust, skilled labor force in an emerging field.

Community Power Works is making dramatic energy efficiency improvements and creating lasting environmental and economic benefits for building owners and the broader community.

Thumbnail of infographicNew infographic highlighting program accomplishments!

Community Impact

Community Power Works energy upgrades completed and in progress include:

  • 2,157 single-family homes
  • 883 low-income multifamily housing units
  • 1.5 million square feet of commercial property
  • 46 small businesses
  • Three major hospitals - Harborview, Virginia Mason, and Swedish
  • 17 City of Seattle buildings

Environmental Impact

Homeowners are seeing average energy savings of 30%, with nearly 250 homes saving over 50%, and some saving up to 80%. All Community Power Works upgrades completed to date and currently in progress will save:

  • 280,700 MMBtu - the amount it takes to power 2,807 homes for a year, and
  • 169,700 tons of greenhouse gas emissions - equivalent to removing 30,163 cars for one year.

Economic Impact

Community Power Works has benefitted the local economy by:

  • Creating more than 253,500 hours of work performed by 1,266 people, including 1,058 contractors and energy auditors.
  • Partnering with local contractors - 92% are Puget Sound-based businesses.
  • Bolstering small businesses - all home contractors are businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Over one-third are women, minority, veteran, or employee-owned.

Is Community Power Works done?

While 100% of our grant funding has been spent or committed to projects, Community Power Works will continue to test new models, provide innovative financing opportunities, and boost demand for energy efficiency upgrades. We are currently identifying different funding streams to transition the program from its pilot phase to a long-term, sustainable business model.

As of January 31, 2014:
TOTAL GRANT FUNDING: $20,000,000 
SPENT TO DATE: $18,577,961
PROJECTS IN PROGRESS: $ 1,422,039
SPENT + PROJECTS IN PROGRESS: $ 20,000,000