Arts & Entertainment News

Eco-friendly events abound this weekend throughout city

Cincinnati residents have the chance to get their eco on this weekend with two free events. The Future Blooms’ Eco-Art Walk in Corryville will take place on Saturday, and the 2010 Ohio Solar Tour will go on across the entire state on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Eco-Art Walk is a brainchild of non-profit Future Blooms, a division of Keep Cincinnati Beautiful that focuses on painting abandoned and boarded up buildings in the center city in order to reduce crime and blight. Since October 2009, Future Blooms has painted over 150 buildings, and are now hosting the Eco-Art Walk tomorrow from 2pm to 7pm.

The Future Blooms team has been working hard, and on Saturday will reportedly unveil a series of artist-designed painted storefronts on Short Vine from Corry Street to Charlton Street (map). The group will also have a display of recycled art. During the event, Short Vine will be closed to automobiles, and visitors will be able wander the streetscape, listen to live music, purchase food and handmade crafts from vendors, and participate in a “freecycle” sale.

Following the completion of the City’s award-winning Neighborhood Enhancement Program in Corryville, city leaders are excited about the potential for this weekend’s event.

“City Council is of the opinion that the Short Vine Eco-Art Walk would focus attention upon the Short Vine Street beautification efforts, the City of Cincinnati’s recycling program, and promote regional tourism,” City Manager Milton Dohoney stated.

Meanwhile, the 2010 Ohio Solar Tour will take place all over Ohio, and will showcase businesses, non-profits and homes that have invested in green energy technology through a series of public open houses. The is expected to provide a unique opportunity for the public to visit and talk with owners living and working with clean energy technologies. The open houses will showcase everything from solar, wind, biomass, green design, and energy-saving technologies.

For Cincinnatians, there are 29 sites within a five-mile radius of the 45202 zip-code. Notable stops include the newly renovated offices of KZF Design and the Potterhill Homes Northwind Community in Northside. For those feeling the desire to traverse the state in search of clean energy buildings, there are both guided tours and the chance to make your own.

Business Development News

Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance takes efficiency blitz to Wyoming

Volunteers from the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA) knocked on more than 700 doors in the City of Wyoming this weekend as part of their Wyoming Energy Efficiency Blitz. On Saturday, the volunteers went door-to-door offering energy efficiency kits and speaking with homeowners about the group’s home energy audits and other efficiency measures that can help make your home more ‘green’.  The energy efficiency kits included compact fluorescent light bulbs, low-flow faucet aerators, and other tools to help save money.

In April, GCEA received $17 million for energy efficiency retrofit projects through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, making this blitz possible. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative that is a collaborative effort to reduce energy costs for thousands of home and business owners throughout the Cincinnati region.

Stuart Schaefer, a Wyoming resident of 4 years, received an energy audit just a few weeks ago that has already led to efficiency upgrades and monthly utility savings.

“Once they came in and showed me where all the drafts were, I knew the exact spots that I needed to insulate,” Shaefer said. “My daughter has been living in a smaller downstairs room because the upstairs room was just too hot, now she can move upstairs where there is more space.”

Through the use of subsidies, GCEA is paying for close to half of Schaefer’s upgrade, resulting in just $1,700 of costs for Schaefer with estimated utility savings of $550 annually.

“My daughter is happy, I’m saving money, I’m saving the environment…it’s been a great experience, a super opportunity,” Schaefer said. “Some of my neighbors have seen my improvements, and have already scheduled their audit.”

As part of the blitz, Wyoming homeowners and homeowners from surrounding communities are invited to GCEA’s Wyoming Community Efficiency Night this Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm at the Wyoming Civic Center (map). The event will provide another opportunity for residents to receive a free energy efficiency kit, as well as give homeowners the opportunity to talk with GCEA energy professionals about home energy efficiency and the economic incentives involved with making your home more energy efficient.

“The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is excited to provide energy efficiency kits, reduced cost energy audits, and resources to ensure that home energy upgrades are simple and affordable,” says GCEA’s Executive Director Andy Holzhauser. “These energy efficiency improvements have the ability to put money back in the pockets of Wyoming residents through savings on their monthly utility bill.”

If you are a homeowner in Hamilton, Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties, then you are eligible for energy audits and efficiency incentives (25-40% of the project cost). For more information just visit GCEA’s website.