Statement from Councilmember Allen on Council’s FY25 Investments Advancing Clean Energy Transition for all Residents

Wednesday, May 29, the DC Council approved on first vote the FY25 budget for the District of Columbia, restoring and securing nearly $24 million in funding for the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund and the DC Green Bank to continue DC’s transition to an all-electric future that can be powered by clean energy generated right here in the District.

The budget advances clean energy infrastructure improvements that will reduce emissions from building energy waste, cover the costs for low- and moderate-income families to upgrade their homes to electric heat and appliances, enable financing for green construction including new, affordable homes, more community solar projects, trash removal from our rivers, and more.

Critically, these investments unlock tens of millions of dollars in federal money that would have otherwise gone unused. These investments come after 2023 set alarming new records for highs for average surface temperature, the clearest signs yet that climate change has arrived.

“When we received the Mayor’s budget, I was shocked at the proposed cuts and changes. This wasn’t the bold leadership we needed, it was kicking the can and playing budget games. Having access to clean indoor air and a climate-controlled home as our days get hotter isn’t a perk just for people who can afford it. We certainly don’t get to zero emissions by leaving behind tens of thousands of households. Thankfully, this Council took action to reverse almost all of those cuts,” Councilmember Charles Allen said. “Despite all the good work, I am disappointed we haven’t been able to undo the Mayor’s budget gimmick that effectively opts the District out of our renewable energy goals, risking taking thousands of dollars from DC residents and churches who installed solar on their rooftops. The Council has closed the door on that particular gimmick and took steps to support the solar credit marketplace. We need to recommit next year to having the District government lead, rather than hold households, churches, and businesses to a higher standard than we do ourselves.”

Key Actions on Climate and Clean Energy in the FY25 Budget

  • Restores funding to Councilmember Allen’s Healthy Homes law, covering the cost to upgrade to electric heat, water, and appliances at no cost to low- and moderate-households. This law sets a goal to upgrade 30,000 homes by 2040.
  • Restores funding to DC Green Bank, including new investments that allow the bank to leverage private dollars to finance green and affordable projects at a 9-to-1 ratio.
  • Restores funding provided by plastic bag fees to clean up rivers and expand education and access to our rivers.
  • Advances Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) to reduce energy waste in large buildings, the District’s single largest source of emissions. This includes funding technical assistance and financial support for large, affordable apartment buildings.
  • Invests in Solar-For-All, a highly successful program to install solar panels that can lower or zero out electricity bills for low-income communities.

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