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Energy & Green Building

The Energy and Green Building Program creates a healthy built environment for people and the planet. We are working to facilitate a local economy powered by the efficient use of clean, renewable, and secure energy and buildings that live lightly on, or are even restorative to, our environment. Programs such as the Community Energy Challenge provide expert assistance to businesses and homes making energy upgrades, while events like the Green Building Slam bring community together to envision a better future. Sustainable Connections is blazing a trail and helping make our region a leader in clean energy and buildings.  
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Looking for the Community Energy Challenge? Visit the Community Energy Challenge website to learn how to save energy in your home or business.

Program Highlights

Pump It Up

Make the switch to a high-efficiency Heap Pump Water Heater TODAY! Swap out your natural gas water heater for a high-efficiency heat pump water heater and you’ll be eligible for up to $1,000 in rebates and tax credits!

Energize Whatcom
Energize Whatcom

Energize Whatcom

ACT NOW!: The Community Energy Challenge makes achieving energy efficiency as easy as possible. When we say we want to help you “Energize Your Business'” we mean we want to make it simple and affordable for you to use energy as efficiently as possible. By Energizing Your Business you can focus on running your business and know that you’ve done all you can to shrink your bills and your environmental impact.

What We Do

Technical Assistance

If you are interested in energy efficiency improvements for your existing building or looking for resources to make your construction project more sustainable, we have programs, toolkits, and resources to support you every step of the way.

Events and Trainings

Want to geek out with other energy efficiency and green building enthusiasts? Want to stay up to date on opportunities to learn about local efforts in these sectors? Click here to check out our regular networking events and upcoming trainings, tours, and talks! 

Get Involved

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Energy Club

Meet like-minded folks and energy efficiency experts to learn about local resources to help you save energy at work, empower you to get buy-in from coworkers and management for your energy-saving efforts, and share energy-saving best practices and success stories with each other.

Climate Action Book Club

Sustainable Connections is making Climate Action Book Club a regular thing, so mark your calendars for the third Thursday in February, June, and October! Join the discussion via Zoom 8:00 am – 9:00 am.

Green Building Nerds

Green Building Nerds is an informal meeting held the third Monday of every other month where peers in the green building industry discuss, troubleshoot, share, and have fun nerding out over a beer. Topics, locations, and attendance vary, but nerding out is always encouraged.

Energy Efficiency Highlights

Bellingham Energy Prize

The Bellingham Energy Prize made it even easy to access expert help and take simple steps to save energy right meow! Sustainable Connections was part of a collaborative team that competed with 50 other cities nationally for the Georgetown University Energy Prize. During the competition, Bellingham saved almost 50 billion BTUs of energy, and reduced carbon emissions by 11,977 metric tons. Bellingham tied for third place in the national competition and was noted as the most creative and inclusive city by engaging residents broadly and targeting harder-to-reach sectors of the population, including renters and multi-family units. Kilowatt Kitty, Bellingham’s energy efficiency mascot, was used to champion the campaign.

Solarize Whatcom

Solarize Whatcom helped residents and business owners easily navigate solar installation by providing free workshops and site assessments, brokering low interest rates, and assisting with every step of the contract and installation process. In the end, 47 contracts were completed, over $1,200,000 was invested in solar, and a total of 311.15 kW will be saved every year!  Thanks to Solarize program partners, for every solar installation contract that was signed, a panel and installation was donated to the Bellingham Food Bank, resulting in a 47 panel array. This means more resources to help end hunger in Whatcom County, as every $10 saved by the Food Bank provides another 100 lbs. of food to individuals.

Toward Net Zero Energy

A few lucky high-performance home builders and homeowners interested in deep energy savings took part in this pilot program that offered funding, technical assistance and marketing support to help achieve better home performance. The program helped identify the most cost-effective ways to achieve maximum energy savings in residential retrofit construction.

Why Save Energy at your Business?

Saving energy in your business can significantly reduce your operating costs and your impact on the environment. You’ll be cutting carbon emissions, reducing costs, and improving the comfort of your employees.

Thousand Dollars

We’re helping local businesses save $122K annually in energy costs.

Thousand Dollars

Generating $700K for our local economy through energy saving projects.


Over 670 businesses have received energy assessments

Many Thanks To Our Energy & Green Building Funders and Sponsors:

Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union
CAZ Construction
Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union
[bundle] design studio
Lautenbach Recycling
Ecotech Solar
Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union
Barkley Company
Bellingham Bay Builders
Sanitary Service Company
Instinct Builders

“The ability to keep the temperature constant and work under non-flickering LED lights set to a warm temperature creates a comfortable daily environment for our staff. These upgrades dramatically lower our energy consumption and reduce costs.”

– Travis Chun, MGM Solutions