Focus the Nation

Energy Alliance Presents at Focus the Nation

On February 22nd, the Energy Alliance participated in a Focus the Nation teach-in at Miami University, a nation-wide effort committed to youth involvement in America’s transition towards a clean energy economy.Focus the Nation helps student leaders and volunteers build Clean Energy Forums on their college campuses that cross pollinate academic disciplines and engage elected leaders, business leaders, and other leaders from the surrounding community.

Lilah Glick, Marketing and Community Outreach Director of the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance presented, “Bringing Energy Efficiency Home and Beyond”, sharing the barriers and opportunities to investing in energy efficiency. Ms. Glick highlighted the importance of energy efficiency in helping households save energy and money noting that, “for every dollar invested, energy efficiency provides a savings of four dollars on average.”

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with Scot Thrapp from the Ohio Department of Development Energy Division, Steve Melink from Melink Corporation, Greig Rutherford from the Oxford City Council, and Ralph Dull a local farmer who has invested in renewable energy on the Dull Homestead Farm. The panel discussion highlighted energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions through both private and public initiatives.

Mr. Rutherford described his “Edge of the Woods” project which is a single family residence with the goal to be “off the grid” and use renewable energy sources and sustainable materials. Mr. Thrapp discussed how to find available grants and rebates for financing energy improvements at DSIRE USA (www.dsireusa.org) or Energize Ohio (www.energizeohio.osu.edu). Steve Melink described how cost is the major hurdle in investing in renewable energy technologies and that it is important to invest in energy efficient improvements before investing in renewable energy. Mr. Melink emphasized that, “it is important to look at energy improvements as a whole system by combining energy efficiency with renewable energy to maximize the combined rate of return”.

Jenna Dolhi, the Miami University student organizer for Focus the Nation said she “came away with a lot of good ideas to start an action plan on campus over the remainder of the term.” Focus the Nation offers youth driven initiatives including their Civic Engagement program and the Focus Roots Fellowship program. Their programs helps to educate thousands of young people in their communities and gives them the tools to help support clean energy projects.

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