Cincinnati – The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, a non-profit providing program management and financing services for area residential and commercial buildings, has been awarded a $17 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help reduce energy bills for Greater Cincinnati building owners. The grant is part of the “Retrofit Ramp-Up” initiative, the competitive portion of DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, which will “ramp-up” energy efficiency building retrofits and spur economic growth in the energy efficiency industry.
The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA) is one of just 25 award recipients nationwide to receive the highly competitive grant, which received $3.5 billion in applications for the just over $450 million in funds available. The funding allows GCEA to further their mission of making energy saving measures more affordable to building owners in Hamilton County in Ohio and Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties in Kentucky.
The award funding will be used to increase energy efficiency across the residential, commercial, and multi-family sectors, including a focus on non-profit organizations. This will create or retain up to 700 direct and indirect jobs over the three year program. In addition, the program will achieve as much as 250 million Kwh in electricity savings, 2.5 million therms of gas savings, and as much as a 250,000 ton Greenhouse Gas reduction in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Says Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance Executive Director Andy Holzhauser, “This federal funding allows us to leverage private capital to potentially create a local energy efficiency market of up to $50 million per year. And that means residents and business owners are saving money on their utility bills, moving our country toward energy independence, and creating or retaining a broad range of jobs from auditors, to skilled trades people, to engineers, and project managers needed to serve this market.”
GCEA’s Retrofit Ramp-Up application received support from seven local governments (Hamilton County, the City of Cincinnati, the City of Florence, the City of Covington, Boone County, Kenton County, and Campbell County), as well as collaborative partners including local foundations, workforce development agencies, institutes of higher education, and local utilities.
The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance plans on bringing energy efficiency to the area block by block, starting with a volunteer-powered neighborhood energy efficiency blitz on May 1 in the neighborhood of Mt. Washington in conjunction with the City of Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program. During this one day event, GCEA volunteers will knock on nearly 1,000 doors, offering resources to make their buildings more energy efficient.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, which was funded for the first time under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, helps state, local, and tribal communities make strategic investments in improving energy efficiency, reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions.