Approximately 30 percent of energy used in downtown Bellevue is wasted, according to Puget Sound Energy. This is why the City of Bellevue and Puget Sound Energy have teamed up in an effort to improve the use of sustainable energy.

Bellevue has partnered with Puget Sound Energy to make downtown buildings more efficient and cut wasted energy. Photo by Rachel Coward.

Bellevue has partnered with Puget Sound Energy to make downtown buildings more efficient and cut wasted energy. Photo by Rachel Coward.

The new initiative, Urban Smart Bellevue, will partner with downtown businesses to increase the efficiency in energy being produced in the downtown area. Through this unique initiative, the program will bring together building owners, operators, and tenants to collaborate on making the commercial center of Bellevue a point of emphasis in sustainable energy.

The official kickoff for the USB initiative will be on June 22, 2016, at Bellevue City Hall where the program has already begun taking effect. City Hall already has been renovated and revamped to optimize sustainability. People will have the opportunity to see easy, simple changes that make a building much more sustainable.

“We determined that the downtown Bellevue core had some great opportunities and had the right community attitude to participate in a program like this,” said Jessica Raker, USB building performance team supervisor. “[The goal is] building awareness around energy consumption in the workplace and trying to get people to make small choices that together make a large impact.”

With these small changes, even if only 200 downtown businesses comply with the USB program, more than $1 million can be saved in energy costs, as well as conserve enough energy to power 16 more commercial buildings. Businesses that comply with the new program will have access to an energy software platform that monitors and tracks energy consumption, offers technical assistance to assist building owners, community outreach, as well as community-based social marketing.