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Community Power Works

Community Power Works

Energy efficiency affects all of us, and that’s why CPW is committed to upgrading more than 2,200 homes and buildings in the city of Seattle. These upgrades will help to reduce our city’s carbon footprint while also helping local homeowners and business owners save money on energy costs so they can live and work more comfortably.

Additionally, CPW-approved contractors do high-quality work and provide their employees with living-wage jobs. Check out the Participate in CPW section of this site to learn more about how the upgrade process works for homes and businesses.

Take a look at the map to see
where people have already
upgraded with CPW!

Now serving all of Seattle!

Community Power Works for Small Business: City Foods

Community Power Works for Small Business: City Foods

Owner: Joe Baker

Location: Belltown Neighborhood – 2522 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Measures:  New beverage cooler, deli reach-in cooler, “cheese Island” reach-in cooler, 26 existing refrigerator case motor replacements, existing refrigerator case temperature controls replacement, refrigerator case lighting replacement, existing overhead lighting lamp replacement, new “Elite list” pendant and track lighting

Contractor: Batt & Lear

Estimated Annual Energy Cost Savings:  $3859

Community Power Works and additional efficiency incentives: $23,194 = 78% of project cost

When Joe Baker, owner of City Foods for 18 years, heard that City University was moving in one block from his Belltown store, he knew that it was time to take action to capture the new high-end customers and transform the space which had gone virtually untouched for 11 years. “City Foods was starting to look more like a convenience store than a neighborhood market,” Baker said. “We knew that we needed to make some substantial changes to look more like the upscale, fresh, local store that we want to be.”  About the same time, Baker learned about the Community Power Works for Small Business program from Charlie Cunniff with the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development and, he said, “It was a no-brainer.”

Community Power Works efficiency upgrade measures were incorporated into a remodel plan that allowed City Foods to reconfigure its space, and rebrand as the go-to store for the upscale clientele moving in. Top of the line LED pendant and track lighting in the entry way highlight a new efficient open gourmet cheese island, white wine cooler, reach in deli-cooler, and beer growler bar always featuring tough to get Mac & Jack’s Amber and Manny’s Pale Ale as well as four additional rotating taps, all contributing to the feel of a cosmopolitan gourmet market. Throughout the store, efficient overhead light replacements create bright, even illumination, which also saves 25% over old, discolored bulbs. Additionally, new LED light installed in existing coolers “wake up” products that had been cast in a dull pall. “New lighting was probably the most noticeable thing that we did,” said Baker. “It changed the whole look and feel of the store.  Everything just looks clean and bright.” read more

Happy Bird of Courage Day!

Happy Bird of Courage Day!

On average, the Pacific Northwest sees its wettest days in the last two weeks of November. True to form, forecasts indicate the next several days will soak Seattle, but Thanksgiving is perfectly timed to buoy our water-logged spirits. As family and friends gather over turkey and cranberry sauce – or saag gosht and matzah ball soup – more than 1,680 households can count a more energy efficient home among their blessings.

At Community Power Works, we are thankful that so many Seattleites have taken advantage of our program and that participants are seeing deep energy savings.  The Department of Energy set aggressive requirements of a minimum 15% savings for residential energy efficiency upgrades. We are pleased to report that our residential portfolio is far exceeding expectations. Community Power Works participants are projected to achieve an average of 30% energy savings. 

Even better, we have more than 60 homes projected to achieve more than 50% energy savings. Mark Eaton offers just one example – upgrades to his 1948 Beacon Hill home are projected to reduce his energy consumption by 59% and save him almost $1,200 each year in energy costs. While Mr. Eaton was initially planning to do home energy upgrades “down the road,” he reports that the “cost savings [from Community Power Works] motivated me to get it done now!”

Time to take advantage of Community Power Works’ innovative suite of incentives, rebates, and financing is slipping away. As Benjamin Franklin – who incidentally considered the turkey a “bird of courage” – wrote, “You may delay, but time will not.” Refer your friends, family, and colleagues before it’s too late. Click here to download a Snapshot of the program, and help us spread the good news! read more

Community Power Works

Community Power Works

Demand for energy upgrades drives Community Power Works’ citywide expansion!

Community Power Works (CPW), the City of Seattle’s home energy upgrade program, launched last April with the goals of simultaneously driving demand to weatherize 2000 homes, and creating a sustainable industry for home energy upgrades. After a successful start in Seattle’s central area and south-end, CPW expanded its services citywide in January. To date, nearly 800 homes have already entered the program, and demand continues to grow as homeowners spread the word about the increased warmth and comfort of their newly upgraded homes.

Joshua Curtis, manager of the CPW program, recently said, “We are really inspired by the reactions of our current customers and the momentum building for the program. It’s great to see how energy upgrades align with peoples’ values, and so positively impact the quality of their lives.”

CPW gives homeowners access to pre-approved experts in home energy auditing and contracting to help them make the smartest choices for their homes. CPW also provides financing, rebates and incentives to help offset project costs, as well as quality assurance once the work is complete. As the program grows, CPW’s partner contractors are supporting job growth in the industry by hiring new trainees from the local Got Green program as well as South Seattle Community College’s Clean/Green Technology program.

Currently, homeowners can choose from fifteen CPW approved contractors, and the pool is expanding to meet demand. CPW strives to make employment opportunities available to small, locally-owned businesses, and requires that all contractors adhere to “High-Road” employment standards. In addition, the program has established targets for contracting companies that are women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned. read more

Community Power Works

Community Power Works

As a part of the City of Seattle’s energy efficiency program, Community Power Works (CPW) for Small Business ( is working hard to reach a diverse group of small, independent restaurants and neighborhood grocery store owners in Seattle that might not know how energy efficiency options can help build their businesses. To reach this community and help make energy efficiency upgrades easier, CPW for Small Business has hired outreach staff members who are fluent in Vietnamese, Mandarin and Chinese, and who also have strong relationships with neighborhood businesses.

Candace Chin, one of CPW’s business outreach specialists, says, “Community Power Works for Small Business provides a great opportunity to help the small businesses with smart energy efficient options, which is an investment in their business longevity.”

Having lived and worked in the Rainier Valley area, Chin has a dedication to serve the area. She says, “I have seen and love the changes in diversity of businesses and neighbors. Being able to speak Taishan (Cantonese dialect) and Mandarin has given me insight on possible language barriers and solutions for business owners who might not otherwise be able to take advantage of this program. “Energy use is a major operating expense for many food service businesses, with annual energy bills that can be equal to 50% of profits. For a restaurant or grocery store owner, it can be hard to know where to start to reduce energy use and save money. “These savings translate well in any language,” said Chin. read more

Check us out on King 5 local news!

Check us out on King 5 local news!

We are happy to share a story on our program highlighting one of our contractors, HomeRx. You can check it out at to hear more about the value of energy audits in our program.

If you’ve also been feeling the chill of this cold snap in your home, it’s a great time to think about making some upgrades to your home like a new, energy efficiency heating system or insulation and air sealing! If you’re interested in getting signed up for our program or learning more about any of our contractors, feel free to give us a call at (206) 449-1170.

We Value: Energy Assessments

We Value: Energy Assessments

Community Power Works (CPW) and Seattle City Council Member Richard Conlin are excited to invite you to a behind-the-scenes look at a CPW home energy audit in “Richard and the Mystery of the Missing Heat!” Conlin graciously opened his doors (and crawl space) so that current and potential CPW customers could get the inside scoop on what to expect during a home energy assessment. Assisted by 2 different CPW-approved contractors (HomeRx and Sound Home Performance) and 1 independent auditor (Habitat Home Energy Audits), we took 4 hours of intensive measurement, observation, and testing and boiled it down to 4 minutes of video fun!

In this video, you’ll get to preview the tests performed over the course of a 4-hour home energy audit. You will see a blower door fan in action – a test that de-pressurizes the home in order to illuminate “cold spots.” You will see auditors use infrared cameras to observe areas of weak insulation in the walls, attic, and floor, as well as perform safety tests on existing heating equipment (e.g. furnaces, etc). You’ll hear our experts explain in their own words the importance of optimizing your home’s performance in accordance with building science principles in order to keep your home healthy, comfortable, and efficient. Most importantly, you’ll hear from happy homeowner Richard Conlin about the value of the CPW energy assessment! He says:

“I learned a whole lot about my house. I learned some things that are going to save me money, and I learned that I can do some good things for the environment.” read more

Getting Cozy in Roosevelt

Getting Cozy in Roosevelt

Whether it’s biking, ultimate Frisbee, a long run, yard work, or a soccer game—most Seattleites know the feeling of being soaking wet and chilled to the bone after their favorite outdoor activity.  On soggy days, nothing beats returning to a cozy home and warm shower.

The problem for Community Power Works customers Janine and Lance was that their Roosevelt home was far from cozy. “We’d been in our house for 10 years and were always freezing. My husband and I were really tired of being cold. We’d thought about doing something before but never really connected the dots.”

After she received a letter about Community Power Works, Janine felt like they had nothing to lose with a $95 home energy audit. Batt + Lear’s Patsy Heasly conducted the audit and helped pinpoint Janine and Lance’s comfort woes: a lack of insulation in many sections of their house.

A cantilevered addition to their home—where their bedroom is located—had no insulation, which made for especially cold nights. “The assessment process was very educational and we learned a lot about our house in general,” said Janine.

Janine and Lance worked with Community Power Works’ certified contractor RichArt Builders to come up with a suite of upgrades that would maximize the utility and program rebates available. They insulated the basement, outside walls, and bedroom; added batting to the attic hatch; and weatherized a side door.

“The week after the upgrades were complete, we could feel the insulation. It felt like there was a cloak of warmth around the house even without turning the heat on. We could feel the energy shift within the house,” enthused Janine. Although they reduced their energy use by an estimated 26%, Janine said that they feel about 60% warmer than they did before their Community Power Works upgrade. They’ve also seen lower electric bills. “Typically at this time of year we are paying about $300 per month—but this month it was only $189. We haven’t had the heaters on as much thanks to the new insulation.” read more

Welcome to the CPW Blog!

Welcome to the CPW Blog!

Welcome to the Community Power Works blog! We are excited to present what’s happening in the CPW program, and within the industry, by sharing the stories and profiles of our customers, energy auditors and contractors. We are privileged to have some of the best in the industry on our team to help homeowners be more comfortable in their homes, save money through energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of our beautiful city of Seattle.

We are finally hitting our stride after starting the program last spring. Now that word is starting to spread about the program, and being warm and comfortable in our homes is on the top of our minds, we are starting to see a surge in home energy upgrades in the program and the great completed work of some of our early customers.

Satisfied homeowner and CPW participant Allyson Adley: “My experience with this program has been 100% positive.”

By the way, if you haven’t seen the before & after photos of the Adley house that we posted on Facebook, check them out here.

As our first case study, two of our CPW energy expert partners, energy auditor Charlie Rogers from Habitat Home Energy Specialist and Bob Thoreson’s team from HomeRx, joined forces to identify and prioritize energy inefficiencies in the Adley home.

Homeowner Allyson Adley told us, “When we learned that 86% of the warm air in our house was escaping each hour and being replaced with cold air from outside, we were shocked. That provided us with the motivation to act.” read more



When you apply to participate in the Community Power Works program, you can also apply for an affordable loan to finance your upgrade. Community Power Works has partnered with two great local lenders: Craft3, a local non-profit community lender; and Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU), a local credit union with a focus on offering energy efficiency credit and resources for Puget Sound homeowners. Both Craft3 and PSCCU allow you to finance 100% of your home energy upgrade with no money down.

The City of Seattle, Office of Housing offers FREE home weatherization services for income qualified families and homeowners. Check out Homewise at:

Craft3 On-Bill Home Energy Efficiency Loan

  • Fixed rates of 3.49%* or 4.49% APR
  • Loans from $1,500 to $30,000
  • Eligible credit scores as low as 590
  • Easy on-bill loan repayment on your Seattle City Light bill
  • Up to a 20 year term
  • No fees, extra costs, or pre-payment penalties
  • Low impact on your monthly budget with payments based on loan amount

* Households earning up to 80% of the Area Median Income may qualify for the 3.49% APR rate.

Apply Now | Craft3

Craft3 is a non-profit 501(c)3 community development financial institution that has been strengthening economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities for 19 years. Since 2009, Craft3 has provided energy efficiency loans to over 3,000 business and property owners in Washington and Oregon. Craft3 believes reducing carbon emissions, expanding ‘green collar’ jobs, and lowering energy costs create economic and ecological resilience.

Craft3 offers homeowners no-fee Home Energy Efficiency Loans with a low fixed rate of 4.49% APR (or 3.49% for households earning up to 80% of the Area Median Income).

Craft3 is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer. Product terms and availability subject to change without notice. Not all applicants will qualify. Craft3 NMLS#390159. read more

Community Power Works is a Seattle neighborhood-based building retrofit program that will achieve deep energy savings and create green jobs.