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BPS News: New Solarize project will help northeast Portland homeowners go solar through volume purchasing

Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Solar Oregon, Umpqua Bank and Energy Trust of Oregon collaborate to launch Solarize Northeast

BPS NEWS

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 January 2012

CONTACT

Christine Llobregat
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
503-823-7007
christine.llobregat@portlandoregon.gov

 

New Solarize project will help northeast Portland homeowners go solar through volume purchasing

Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Solar Oregon, Umpqua Bank and Energy Trust of Oregon collaborate to launch Solarize Northeast

Ever thought about installing solar energy on your home, but didn’t know where to start?  Portland homeowners in NE Portland looking to control their energy costs by using solar electricity have a helping hand to guide them through the steps of a home installation. Solarize Northeast, a community-driven project of Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN), is launching its second solar electric installation campaign this month that runs through May 15.

“With this second round, NECN aims to demystify solar energy for our residents and provide a simple and affordable solution for homeowners to install solar panels on their homes,” explains Paige Coleman, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods’ executive director. “We are pleased to be working with our partners to provide the latest information, technology and incentives to our residents.”

Registration for the program is open now through May 15. With the support of Mr. Sun Solar, Solarize Northeast is offering an Early Bird Discount for people who sign contracts before February 29.

Free workshops makes going solar easy and affordable

Solarize Portland neighborhood projects are designed to simplify the process of going solar and bring cost reductions through volume purchasing. Free informative workshops make the process easy to understand by covering topics such as the size of system to purchase, budgeting and financing, and how to get started. Come to the next workshop and meet the people who can help you determine the next steps.

View the schedule of free workshops in Northeast Portland: http://solarize.necoalition.org/workshops

Solarize Northeast is a project involving project partners, volunteers, board members and staff of NECN. Project Manager Gene Lee organized a volunteer committee that vetted contractor proposals and made recommendations to the NECN Board. The NECN Board unanimously approved the selection of Mr. Sun Solar, a local Northeast contractor. Portland-area contractor Mr. Sun Solar has been an industry pioneer Portland area contractor installing solar for over thirty years.

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the nonprofit organizations Solar Oregon and Energy Trust of Oregon are working together to support other campaigns around the city and the State of Oregon, and can help any Portland neighborhood associations or groups interested in operating Solarize projects. The City of Portland provides strategic assistance and coordination; Solar Oregon provides database and workshop delivery services, and Energy Trust provides cash incentives to help lower the upfront cost of the solar electric systems.

“I know it’s hard to imagine now in the depth of winter, but summer sunshine is just around the corner, and solar is a viable option for many homeowners in Portland to realize long-term energy savings,” says Susan Anderson, director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “Now’s the time for northeast Portland neighbors to again take advantage of the guidance and incentives offered by Solarize NE.” 

Umpqua Bank is providing financing through their Green Street loan program and offering assistance to the campaign with outreach services and hosting workshops in the Bank’s Alberta Street store.

“Solarize is a smart way to engage our community,” says Robert W. Cross, store manager, Umpqua Bank Alberta and President Elect of Solar Oregon. “It makes good economic sense for homeowners to pursue solar energy with the abundance of resources out there.”

Portlanders are sweet on solar energy

With over 10 megawatts (MW) of solar power installed across the city (enough energy to power almost 800 homes) — Portlanders have helped prevent 4,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. The growth of the local residential market has experienced a 400 percent increase in the rate of installations from 2008 to 2012.

For more information about the history of the Solarize programs, visit www.portlandonline.com/bps/solarize

About Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Inc.

Founded in 1975, the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Inc (NECN), an independent 501c3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to the livability of our inner North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods, fosters local leadership, strong issue advocacy and community initiatives by its residents, businesses and neighborhood associations. It serves as one of the seven district coalitions supporting the Portland Neighborhood System. solarize.necoalition.org, Contact: Paige Coleman, executive director, paige@necoalition.org 503-823-3151

About Solar Oregon

Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  Supported by its member organizations and individuals, Solar Oregon provides outreach and education on solar technology and its applications, methods for improving energy efficiency, and ideas for building a carbon-neutral future.  www.solaroregon.org

About Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save nearly $800 million on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.  

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:UMPQ) with locations between San Francisco and Seattle, along the Oregon and Northern California Coast, and in Central Oregon and Northern Nevada.  Umpqua Bank’s GreenStreet Lending affords finance options for homeowners and small businesses to complete energy-efficient and renewable project upgrades.

 

About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

To create and enhance a vibrant city, BPS combines the disciplines of planning and sustainability to advance Portland's diverse and distinct neighborhoods, promote a prosperous and low-carbon economy, and help ensure that people and the natural environment are healthy and integrated into the cityscape. BPS provides a forum for community engagement and education, and is a catalyst for action. With a city full of partners, BPS develops creative and practical solutions on issues as far ranging as comprehensive, neighborhood and environmental planning, urban design, waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency and solar technologies. This innovative, interdisciplinary approach strengthens Portland's position as an international model of sustainable development practices and commerce. For more information, go to www.portlandonline.com/bps.

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Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans Projects

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

Residents of the Cully neighborhood in Northeast Portland are witnessing a neighborhood in transition — and getting the chance to create positive change in their community. Through the Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans Projects, residents are helping the City meet the needs of residents in the community by enhancing local services and amenities and improving sidewalks, streets and bikeways. The project will increase much-needed neighborhood–serving retail and services in the Cully Boulevard main street area and include a local street plan to increase street connectivity, as well as develop new designs and funding options for improving local streets and prioritizing improvements.

With input from the community, staff will recommend select zoning changes along Cully Boulevard and the Killingsworth Street area. Staff will share proposed solutions with the public at an open house in early March (check website for exact date and time). A staff report with recommendations to the Planning and Sustainability Commission is scheduled to be reviewed in early spring 2012, and a revised proposal will then go to City Council for final action at public hearings in late spring 2012.

To view project information visit www.portlandonline.com/bps/cullymainstreet. For more information regarding the project overall and the main street component, contact Debbie Bischoff, senior planner, at debbie.bischoff@portlandoregon.gov or 503.823.6946. For information on the local street plan work, contact Denver Igarta, transportation planner, at denver.igarta@portlandoregon.gov or 503.823.1088.

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Urban Food Zoning Code Update sets the table

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

There’s no doubt Portlanders love their food. So much so that we want more opportunities to grow our own, shop at farmers markets and purchase fresh local produce from community supported agriculture boxes.

In just a few weeks, the Urban Food Zoning Code Update project will release a discussion draft of changes to the City’s Zoning Code that will affect the way that food can be grown and distributed in Portland — particularly in our neighborhoods. The proposals support activities such as community gardens, farmers markets and food buying clubs at a scale that is appropriate to neighborhoods and helps build community.

The Code Development Advisory Group (CDAG), composed of 18 community members with a variety of interests, perspectives and experiences around urban food production and distribution, has been working closely with project staff to help develop the code proposals. For more information about the membership and work of the CDAG visit http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=56833

The discussion draft will be published in early February with a public comment period extending into early March. For more information or a copy of the discussion draft, please contact Julia Gisler at Julia.gisler@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7624 or Steve Cohen at steve.cohen@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4225. Find out ways that you can participate at www.portlandonline.com/bps/foodcode.

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Sustainability at Work business profile: Meet Bamboo Sushi, 2011 BEST award winner

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

BEST logoIn partnership with the world’s leading marine conservation organizations, Bamboo Sushi is proud to be the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Born out of a desire to change the existing business paradigm that says altruism and profitability are mutually exclusive, Bamboo Sushi employs business practices that serve to achieve greater social equity and support the local economy, while ensuring the highest possible standard of environmental sustainability.

Learn more about Bamboo Sushi at sustainabilityatworkpdx.com.

Apply to be a 2012 BEST Award Winner!

Like Bamboo Sushi, does your business have practices, products or services that exemplify social, environmental and economic sustainability?

Download your application at sustainabilityatworkpdx.com. Deadline to apply is February 10. Winners will be announced at the 20th Annual BEST Awards on April 25, 2012. In addition to on-stage recognition, winners will be featured prominently at the event and on our website.

Mark your calendars now for this must-attend event!

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Neighbors, local businesses and PSU students provide input on SE 122nd Avenue Corridor rezone project

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

For many years, East Portland residents have advocated for more local businesses along SE 122nd Avenue and better multi-family residential design in the area. So during the fall and winter of 2011, BPS staff met with a neighborhood-based advisory group, hosted neighborhood walks and reviewed existing economic and land use data about rezoning SE 122nd Avenue to better meet community and resident needs. The SE 122nd Avenue Corridor Rezone Project team also received ideas on how to improve the area from students of Portland State University Professor B.D. Wortham-Galvin’s Fall Architectural Studio class.

Together residents, students, staff and members of the business community are working to generate more small-scale commercial activity along the SE 122nd Ave corridor, provide more opportunities for “cottage commercial” uses, and improve the design and location of multi-family residential development within the study area.

The SE 122nd Avenue Corridor Rezone Project will implement portions of the community-led SE 122nd Avenue Pilot Study, an offshoot of the East Portland Action Plan.

Project Advisory Group helps guide the process

Staff have been guided in their efforts to update the zoning map and recommend changes to the zoning ordinance by a Project Advisory Group (PAG) made up of roughly a dozen members of the business and neighborhood communities invested in the SE 122nd Ave area. Three PAG meetings have been held in the Leander Court community room, where members gave their input to staff, raised concerns and suggested ideas for improving the neighborhood. In the upcoming months a draft list of property rezonings will be refined and recommendations for code language amendments will be presented that accomplish the objectives generated by the PAG.
    
The next Project Advisory Group meeting will be Jan. 26, 2012. An open house for the general public is scheduled for February 23rd, with representatives of the Portland Development Commission and the Bureau of Transportation helping to facilitate. Portlanders will have a chance to learn more about the project and give feedback on the code amendments at this time. After final input from the public and other stakeholders and refinement of the code language in early spring, a final package of rezoning and text amendment recommendations will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission for their consideration and to City Council for adoption in July.

For more information on this project or about the upcoming open house, please visit the project website. You may also contact Chris Scarzello at chris.scarzello@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7716; or John Cole at john.cole@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-3475.

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