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Cincinnati region lands $17M for energy efficiency retrofits

The Greater Cincinnati region landed $17 million for energy efficiency retrofit projects through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative that is a collaborative effort to reduce energy costs for thousands of home and business owners throughout the Cincinnati region.

The energy efficiency retrofit funds will be supported locally by the Greater Cincinnati Retrofit Ramp-Up program run by the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA). U.S. Representative Steve Driehaus (D-OH) states that the funds will help modernize the region’s energy infrastructure and create jobs that are critically needed.

“Retrofit projects put people to work, increase energy efficiency in older buildings, and save ratepayers money on their utility bills,” Driehaus explained. “The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance has offered a plan to retrofit thousands of homes and businesses in our community, and I look forward to the alliance putting these resources to good use.”

According to the U.S. DOE, Cincinnati’s retrofit program will involve community and organizational outreach efforts that will include the expertise of energy adviser services in residential, commercial and public sectors. This process, led by GCEA, seeks to utilize a model of community collaboration, including marketing, utility program integration, financing affordability and accessibility, customer participation and workforce development.

“This federal funding allows us to leverage private capital to potentially create a local energy efficiency market of up to $50 million per year,” said GCEA Executive Director Andy Holzhauser. “That means residents and business owners are saving money on their utility bills, moving our country toward energy independence, and creating or retaining as many as 1,400 quality jobs to serve this market.”

In total, national Retrofit Ramp-Up projects make up part of the $80 billion Recovery Act investment aimed at developing clean energy and improving energy efficiencies. Cincinnati’s program won its $17 million grant through a competitive bidding process.

Photo of Andy Holzhauser provided.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.