The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is providing $17.2 million in financing to six communities one year after its inception, Gov. Gina Raimondo and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner announced.

The initial round of funding will support a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Pawtucket, Providence, Cranston, West Warwick, Westerly, and Newport.

Combined, the first round of projects financed through the bank's efficient buildings fund program is expected to create or support 263 jobs and ultimately save local taxpayers more than $20 million dollars in energy costs, Raimondo said Aug. 11 at Pawtucket City Hall.

"The infrastructure bank is succeeding in its mission to jumpstart local energy-saving projects, and we are providing new opportunities for cities and towns to save money on energy costs," said Magaziner. That frees up funds for education, infrastructure and tax relief, he said.

Projects in Pawtucket financed through this program include the installation of LED streetlights throughout the city, high-efficiency boilers, energy efficient windows and lights and Wi-Fi programmable thermostats in multiple municipal buildings.

The $3.9 million in energy efficiency upgrades is expected to save Pawtucket more than $750,000 annually in avoided energy and maintenance costs in the coming years.

The bank has also begun a program for property owners in participating communities to finance energy efficiency and clean energy projects through a property-tax assessment, with the first projects expected to receive financing this fall. Bristol, Charlestown, East Providence, Middletown, Pawtucket, Smithfield, South Kingstown and West Warwick are among the first communities to participate in the bank's property assessed clean energy, or C-Pace program.

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