energy alliance news

Adventures in Energy Efficiency: Insulating Sales at Work

Here’s Energy Alliance participating contractor Insulating Sales working on a recent energy efficiency improvement.

Top picture: The first contractor we’ve seen on stilts!

Middle picture: Installation of spray foam on the band joists in the basement to significantly increase comfort by stopping drafts. Sealing air leaks is a home improvement that will have immediate and significant payback.

Bottom picture: Dirty insulation, the tell-tale sign of air leaks.


Insulating Sales energy efficiency improvement installation

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Urban Heat Island: Cincinnati


What do you see in this satellite image of Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood?

Chris Meyer, our Operations Director, points out that there are ‘black roofs’ everywhere.

Dark surfaces on roads and roofs in cities absorb heat and can affect regional energy use and health. Applying a white or reflective coating to the roof of a building or house costs very little and substantially reduces the heat island effect for downtown Cincinnati.

Here’s a data-rich infographic from that explores the impact of the difference between white and black roofs.




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The Collective Impact of Green Umbrella

Green Umbrella is an impressive local organization that brings together nonprofits, corporations, businesses, municipal leaders, and individuals with the goal of advancing our region’s environmental sustainability.

The Energy Alliance remains an active member of Green Umbrella having partnered on several regional initiatives, including the Green Umbrella Energy Challenge. Our CEO, Andy Holzhauser, is a member of the Green Umbrella Board of Trustees and our Strategic Business Director, Jeremy Faust, is the head of the Energy Conservation and Efficiency Action team.

We encourage you to watch this inspiring video recently released by Green Umbrella that demonstrates its far-reaching impact in the Greater Cincinnati area. The segment featuring our own Jeremy Faust discussing the group’s energy conservation work begins at the 3:30 mark .


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energy alliance news

Eliminating Barriers to Solar Energy through Lending

The Energy Alliance is taking part in a national conversation around how to bring more investment into solar development.

Hosted by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the Banking on Solar Initiative includes voices from throughout the solar industry, from developers and installers, to national banking partners, legal voices, and state green banks.

By developing more standardized procedures for contracting and underwriting, and educating financial institutions on the opportunities and risks presented by solar investments, we are growing the market and increasing the solar investment opportunities for residents, businesses, and contractors.

Learn more here.


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energy alliance news

Cincinnati Enquirer:
State Must not Derail Progress on Energy Efficiency

The Cincinnati Enquirer just weighed in against the Ohio General Assembly’s latest efforts to freeze the state’s energy efficiency standards.

They cite the U.S. military’s aggressive pursuit of energy sustainability and independence as an indication of the direction the country is moving and a reason why Ohio should continue to improve efficiency regulations rather than freeze them at current levels.

“If that strategy is good enough for the U.S. military, Ohio lawmakers ought to explain why it’s not good enough for the rest of us,”

Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board

For more perspective on this issue, here is a link to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) post:


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energy alliance news

Successful Forest Park and GCEA Partnership Extended

Our goal-breaking campaign that improved the efficiency of 156 homes in Forest Park last year has been extended into 2014 with an additional $10,000 in incentive money. These funds will cover an estimated 15 homes, and are first come, first served.

Read the article here:

Or contact the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance to see if your home is eligible for the program.



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Proctor and Gamble Earth Week

Annually, Proctor and Gamble hosts a wide variety of environmentally friendly organizations in observance of Earth Day. Last week we were invited to table at P&G’s Earth Day Event, talking about our Energy Efficiency Program with their associates at lunchtime in their downtown building.

Dane Ervick, who represents both our Residential and Commercial programs, brought some of our assessment tools to show: the IR camera (for seeing heat loss), borescope (a small camera mounted on a flexible arm which can look into hard to see places and in-between walls), manometer (a gauge that measures pressure differences for draft assessment), and combustion analyzer (a gauge that measures how well a furnace or water heater burns natural gas).

We were situated between Sol Design and Consulting, a contractor in our commercial program, and Eco Environments, a contractor in our residential program. Also nearby was Heather Curless from Greener Stock Environmentally Friendly Supply store. Together, the four groups made home and building sustainability a very visible subject to event attendees.



Dane Ervick, Residential and Commercial Operations Associate, demonstrating the IR camera



P&G Tower B

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Landscaping for Energy Savings

Tips to help you save energy and improve comfort

Guest writer Michelle Andersen is the Design Director for Flourish Landscape and Interior Design.

Properly insulating and air sealing your home will improve your overall comfort and reduce your energy usage. However, even after these improvements, your home likely remains exposed to the impacts of the sun and wind. A well planned landscape design can enhance the curb appeal of your home and provide energy saving benefits.

Here are some of my top landscaping tips that can help you improve the savings and comfort of your home year-round.

  1. Screen areas that have high wind exposure with evergreen trees to protect your home from heat loss. For smaller urban yards a columnar arborvitae or juniper screen in a zigzag line works well. I place them in a zigzag for a more natural look. If you have more space, try Spruce or Spring Grove Arborvitae.
  2. Plant a deciduous tree to shade parts of your home that get hot from sun exposure. While the leaves on the trees will block the summer sun, the winter sun will be allowed to warm the home after the leaves drop. Choose a tree that has a full canopy such as a Maple and find out how tall it will grow – there are Maple cultivars that will stay as small as 25’ tall that work well for small yards. Be sure to place the tree at least that far from the foundation of your home. For narrow spaces try the Franz Fontaine Hornbeam in a row of 3 or 5.
  3. Tree lined streets create a microclimate that cools neighborhoods and can lower your cooling needs by as much as 20%. Check with your municipality to see what street tree programs they have. The City of Cincinnati’s Releaf program provides a free tree for homeowners in the fall that they can plant in their front yard. Sometimes you can request a tree or pay to have one planted in your tree lawn, the strip between the sidewalk and the road. For those without a tree lawn, consider planting trees on your own and encourage the neighbors to do the same for and added bonus of increased property value.
  4. Lawns are a beautiful and conventional way to keep a low maintenance landscape, but they don’t have many environmentally friendly qualities. Transform portions of your lawn into landscape beds that contain a small native tree such as a Serviceberry, Dogwood, or Redbud to create a cooling effect in the summer as well as reduce the mowing needed.
  5. Hardscaping can attract and hold heat from the sun. Patios, driveways, and any other hard surface made of concrete, stone, asphalt, or pavers can improve your property value, but they also attract and hold heat from the sun. Shade hardscape surfaces with trees or a roof structure or choose a light color surface. This will also make these spaces more enjoyable and usable during our hottest days.

Properly designing your landscape can greatly enhance the way you function in your outdoor space and provide energy saving benefits. Try implementing some of these tips on your own or consult with a landscaper or designer for a more professional approach.

For information on consultations and design plans contact Michelle at or 859-815-0068.

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2010-2102 Annual Report and 2013 Update

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance’s 2010-2012 Annual Report, which includes a 2013 Impact Summary, highlights an impressive shift in energy efficiency awareness and investment in our region. 

This shift is a testament to our organizational and overall regional success to establish and develop an energy efficiency economy in the residential and commercial markets.

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance was founded in 2009 through a conviction shared by our dedicated team along with private foundations and seven local governments. The concept that inspired collaboration amongst these groups is simple. Energy efficiency is the least expensive yet cleanest fuel source in our economy, and when we invest in energy efficiency, it generates jobs that cannot be outsourced.

This message has compelled thousands of homeowners and hundreds of commercial building owners in the Greater Cincinnati area to take action and make investments in the energy efficiency of their buildings.

Please take a moment to share in this success with us and discover what the next steps in energy efficiency investment for our region will be through our 2010-2012 Annual Report.



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