May 8, 2020 Dear Neighbors,
My name is Brandi Colander, and I am honored to serve as Board Chair of the District of Columbia’s Green Finance Authority, more commonly referred to as the DC Green Bank. Since the founding of the DC Green Bank, we have taken tremendous steps toward building the infrastructure of this entity that is charged with offering innovative financial tools to promote a more sustainable District by leveraging public and private investments. While we are still in the start-up phase, we have been hard at work implementing the legislation responsible for creating the DC Green Bank, establishing an operational Board of Directors, and hiring our inaugural CEO. The progress we’ve made in less than a year is a testament to the District’s commitment to building a more sustainable and resilient place for all of us.
Green banks are not new concepts. We have the benefit of learning from the efforts of other jurisdictions, like Montgomery County in Maryland, Connecticut, Michigan, and New York City. Here in DC our mission is clear, the DC Green Bank works to increase access to funding for energy efficiency improvements and clean energy installations that make District households and businesses greener and create local jobs. We are providing funding to help decrease utility bills and save residents money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our environment. We are supporting clean energy employers and will preserve and create jobs. We are quite literally investing in the future of all DC residents and businesses.
In the short-term, our immediate priority is to build a dynamic team of DC Green Bank staff to support this mission, and over the past few months, we have made significant strides toward the development of our green bank. We have a fantastic Board of Directors that continues to work hard to move this effort forward. I am grateful to the Board Members for their service and invite you to read more about them here. On April 13, Eli Hopson began his role as the CEO and Executive Director of the DC Green Bank. Eli is an attorney and clean energy expert, and the Board and I are thrilled that he has joined us in this leadership role given his commitment to working collaboratively with DC residents and businesses to develop accessible and affordable solutions. We encourage you to head over to our website to learn more about Eli and his appointment. In the coming months, we hope to add more members to the growing DC Green Bank team, and you can learn more about our career opportunities here.
Globally, we are witnessing unpredictable and devastating impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The future feels tenuous to all of us. Yet, despite the uncertainty of it all, the DC Green Bank is focused on what we can control and how we can support the District during this time. That is why we proudly support the Mayor’s District Economic Recovery Team (DERT), created to proactively prepare and strategize long-term plans to restart the District’s social and economic spheres as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. For more information on DERT, please visit the DC Government website here. We are confident that our efforts will prove essential as the District recovers from the pandemic and positions itself to remain a leader in tackling climate change and improving sustainability and resiliency. Our DC Green Bank products will lower barriers to adoption of clean energy technology and make energy projects more accessible and more affordable through financing instruments and incentives. These products enable home projects that reduce costs to residents, enhance energy efficiency and support clean energy companies. The DC Green Bank is a smart and proactive policy tool that empowers DC residents and businesses to more gracefully navigate the ongoing changes to the future of our energy landscape and meet our sustainability targets even amid a pandemic.
As DC homeowners, Eli and I know firsthand that home upkeep can be costly. As Board Chair and CEO, we will keep the issue of equity and accountability at the forefront of what we set forth to advance our sustainability targets while spurring economic growth. District residents must have access to the financial tools and offerings that DC Green Bank seeks to deploy. These tools will assist residents across all wards of the District, enabling them to stay comfortably in their homes while reducing operating expenses over time by enhancing energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The Board and I look forward to working with each of you to execute this critical mission. I want to thank Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Council for this opportunity and their leadership and support. Please visit our website at DCGreenBank.org and sign up for our email list to stay up to date.
Brandi Colander, Board Chair | District of Columbia Green Finance Authority