At 10:30 a.m. Mayor Mike McGinn will stand alongside Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to announce that Seattle will receive $20 million from the US Department of Energy’s competitive “Retrofit Ramp Up” grant program. You can watch the broadcast of the event here.

McGinn's office estimates the retrofits will save between 15 to 45 percent of the energy used per building and will reduce an estimated 71,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions citywide.

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We can use the $20 million to retrofit buildings for energy efficiency in certain Seattle neighborhoods, from single-family homes and businesses to hospitals and municipal buildings. Among the sorts of project the money funds: energy-efficient windows, says mayoral spokesman Aaron Pickus, which will also help folks "save money on their electricity bills." Retrofitting Seattle building by building, and home by home is the only way to promote city-wide energy conservation, he says. And now the city has the funds to do it.

Seattle was one of 25 cities to be awarded a grant, out of more than 150 cities that applied for the program.

"What we had that other cities didn't was coordinated community involvement," says Pickus. The city was awarded the grant thanks to of backing from business and labor, finance leaders, and other community partners. Over 40 public, private, and nonprofit partners worked with he mayor's staff to apply for the grant. The city still hasn't announced details on when the money will be available and how local families and businesses can apply for funds.

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"This is a big win for Seattle," says Pickus. "Twenty million will go a long way."

High fives all around.

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