Promoting Unique Green Infrastructure Finance Model to National Leaders
CNT is making the case to national leaders for the public/private financing of green infrastructure retrofits.
Having established one of the largest multi-family residential energy retrofit programs in the nation, CNT is now piloting the nation’s first wet weather ‘Wetrofit™’ service. Funded, in part, by State Farm and the Surdna Foundation, Wetrofit is modeled on CNT’s experience in energy retrofit services. The unique approach, based on public/private partnerships, aims to deliver coordinated, tailor-made solutions to municipalities looking to retrofit neighborhoods and properties with green infrastructure.
“Private property owners, insurers, municipalities, utilities, public agencies are already paying a high price for poor stormwater management, with substantial sums spent reducing run-off into basements, streams and rivers,” says Harriet Festing, CNT’s Water Program Director. “By capturing and pooling this money into a coordinated investment and implementation strategy, we can massively speed and scale up the retrofitting of cities with green infrastructure.”
Harriet was one of 80 individuals from state, federal, local, private and non-profit agencies from across the country invited to participate in a national stormwater management conference held at the White House in Washington, DC last September. The “Municipal Stormwater Infrastructure: Going from Grey to Green” conference provided a forum to address municipal stormwater management needs, identifying barriers and evaluating options for practical actions. The Wetrofit concept was further elaborated on at the 3rd annual U.S. Water Alliance Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference, in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Ryan Wilson, CNT’s Stormwater Program Manager was presenting.
“The Wetrofit program is an innovative approach, tackling the root cause of an ever growing problem,” says Roy Spencer, President of Perma-Seal Basement Systems, one of the private sector suppliers working with CNT to help scope out the service.
The Wetrofit service is being piloted in several communities in the Chicago region. Other funders include the Joyce Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts. CNT also manages the City of Chicago’s Sustainable Backyard Program, which promotes simple, low-cost measures that residents can use to enhance the environment and reduce neighborhood flooding.