An article in Tuesday's New York Times ("Cities Use Creative, Targeted Lending to Speed Energy Projects") featured a number of cities across the U.S. who are implementing innovative financing mechanisms to help their residents afford to make energy-efficiency and renewable-energy improvements to their homes and buildings. It doesn't have a bill number yet -- once it does, I'll start tracking it here via Richmond Sunlight -- but keep your eye out for a piece of legislation in this year's General Assembly session that would allow Charlottesville to become the first Virginia locality to do the same. Tremendous potential, there.
Charlottesville's been getting a lot of accolades lately for our efforts on the sustainability front, including the recent designation by the Virginia Municipal League as the greenest city in Virginia for our population size. But we must resist the temptation to pat ourselves on the back too vigorously when we know that there are creative tools out there that we haven't even tried yet -- tools, like this one, that will take our sustainability efforts to a whole new level.