Tacoma City Council banned natural gas and other fossil fuels for heating and power in new city-owned buildings, as well as any undergoing major renovations, at its April 20 meeting [Resolution 40776]. The new policy, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022, does allow buildings to use low- or zero-carbon emission fuels, such as biodiesel and renewable natural gas. The council also directed the city manager to assess the effects of a similar prohibition for new commercial and residential buildings.
Washington's Department of Commerce has opened the application process for $7.8 million of Clean Energy Fund grants. The fund's fourth round is supporting research, development and demonstration of clean energy projects. The round of grants also focuses on equitable distribution of clean energy transition benefits, such as reducing the energy burden of marginalized communities or increasing tribes' control over their energy decisions.
Seattle City Council expanded the city's bill assistance fund for Seattle City Light customers at its April 19 meeting [Council Bill 120035]. Income-qualified customers can now access the Emergency Assistance Program twice a year, rather than only once. Eligible customers can receive up to $500 toward their power bill. Seattle City Light estimates that the expansion could cost as much as $1.5 million. On April 12, the council passed a $23 million COVID-19 assistance package, which included $1 million for SCL bill assistance [CB 120018].