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Town & Country Market makeover to use energy conservation bonds

Town & Country Market is undergoing a remodel of the Winslow grocery store.  - Image courtesy of Town & Country Markets
Town & Country Market is undergoing a remodel of the Winslow grocery store.
— image credit: Image courtesy of Town & Country Markets

Along with a whole range of improvements on the way, Town & Country Market has taken an extra step to making the new and improved grocery store greener.

Come spring of next year, the market will be the nation's first private-sector project to invest in energy conservation using Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds.

"This financing was a key part of our decision-making, and made it possible for the remodel to add far greater energy efficiency than we had hoped," said Bill Weymer, CEO of Town & Country Markets.

The grocery store was issued $1.15 million in bonds earlier this year through Kitsap County's Green Community Initiative and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

With backing from the Green Community Initiative, the market was also able to secure a lower-interest construction loan for energy upgrades.

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) are allocated to local cities and counties nationwide for projects that conserve energy or water, generate alternative energy or cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Just five years after legislation authorized the use of the bonds, Kitsap County and the Housing Finance Commission teamed up to create the Green Community Initiative.

With their partnership, the county screens applications on local building projects and the commission facilitates the financing using QECBs.

The commission, a self-funding state agency focused on affordable housing, has worked since 2009 to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy under the direction of the state Legislature.

"Our partnership with Kitsap County draws private investment to meet local goals in the most flexible and innovative ways, especially when it comes to QECBs," said Avi Jacobson, senior sustainability coordinator for the commission.

"We're proud to be the first in the country to use a green community program for private activity," Jacobson said.

With the bonds, Weymer estimates the store will use 41 percent less energy per square foot than it does today.

"The improvements should pay for themselves in just seven to 10 years," Weymer said.

The bonds are planned to go to improving the insulation, lighting, refrigeration, heating/cooling and other systems at the market.

 

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