Electric vehicles – King County, Washington Is Charging Up Savings

Residents of King County, Washington are seeing several improvements in their community thanks to a $6.1 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The grant, which is funded by the Recovery Act, has allowed King County to conduct a variety of public and commercial energy efficiency upgrades, including the installation of electric car charging stations, county vehicle fleet upgrades and senior housing energy improvements.

With the help of EECBG funds, the county is helping lead a regional effort to install electric vehicles charging stations at strategic locations across the Puget Sound area. This will allow members of the public to charge their vehicles away from home and extend their trips. The installation project is expected to be finished this summer. According to King County executives, it will allow people who are buying electric vehicles to quickly charge them at the new 240-volt charging stations throughout King County.

Additionally, the county is also improving the energy efficiency of its extensive fleet of vehicles by replacing conventionally powered vehicles with gas-electric hybrids. This new fleet will lower vehicle emissions and save 4,800 gallons of gas annually compared to the 20 current fleet vehicles.

The county has also made investments to dramatically reduce energy waste and improve the quality of life for the residents of an area senior housing community. The 61-unit, low-income senior apartment building will see upgrades to the heat pump, which will provide 50 percent in energy savings over standard electric heat, and require no air conditioning due to air flow improvements. The building’s energy use is being tracked per unit to fully document energy savings for future developments.

By April Saylor, Online Content Producer and contractor to the Office of Public Affairs, blog.energy.gov/