Posts

Press Release: KY-PACE First Project

For immediate release

Covington, KY (December 15, 2015) For the first time in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a local government (City of Covington) has authorized a private property owner (Ivy Knoll Senior Living Community) to use PACE financing for an energy project, according to the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance.

In March 2015, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear.  The legislation, House Bill 100, authorizes local governments to establish Energy Project Assessment Districts (EPADs), which then allows property owners to use PACE financing to fund energy efficiency upgrades, on-site renewable energy projects and water conservation measures.  Energy projects financed with PACE do not require subsidy or incentive from the local government sponsoring the EPAD.

PACE financing allows private commercial property owners to repay the funds for an eligible energy project via a voluntary special improvement assessment on the property tax bill.  The assessment amount remains fixed for a term of up to 20 years. The special assessment stays with the property when sold or transferred.

The City of Covington worked closely with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance to develop the EPAD which allowed the Ivy Knoll Senior Living Community to take advantage of PACE financing.

“According to the national nonprofit PACENow, this is the fastest that an energy project has been approved for PACE financing once a State has passed enabling legislation,” said City of Covington Mayor Sherry Carran.  “The City of Covington is excited to have partnered with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance which allowed Ivy Knoll to improve such an important property within the City of Covington.”

Ivy Knoll found PACE financing to be a perfect funding solution to make significant building improvements of systems that were outdated or extremely energy inefficient. Through these energy upgrades, Ivy Knoll will be able to improve the comfort and convenience for their senior residents while also reducing the building’s energy footprint. Through PACE financing, the Ivy Knoll owners were able to select improvements that had the highest energy savings but also came with the higher upfront costs for the 7-story, all-electric building.  The $750,000 project, funded by Inland Green Capital LLC, includes the following building improvements:

  • Solar Panels – the largest electricity-generating system that is privately-owned in Northern Kentucky will produce over 64,000 kilowatt hours annually,
  • LED Lighting – estimated electricity savings in excess of $12,000 annually,
  • Elevator Modernization – energy efficient technology by Murphy Elevator Company,
  • Heating & Cooling – high efficiency room units with automated controls that allow the building manager to remotely turn off units in vacant rooms.

“PACE financing allowed us to make many of the energy related improvements that we might have otherwise deferred,” said Ray Schneider, the President/CEO of Ivy Knoll.  “We were able to improve the comfort for our senior residents while reducing the building’s energy footprint by approximately 37%.”

Mark Pikus, Senior Vice President of Inland Green Capital states, “We are excited to be a part of this historic PACE transaction in the state of Kentucky. As PACE financing gains traction throughout the country, we look forward to continue working with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance and other PACE administrators to provide capital for properties just like Ivy Knoll”.

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is currently working with several local governments to make PACE financing available for more property owners within the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas.  Additionally, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance provides education and outreach to contractors and property owners who want to learn more about PACE financing.

“We are excited to bring PACE financing to Northern Kentucky,” said Andy Holzhauser, the CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance.  “This is a big step forward in that PACE financing allows property owners to reduce their energy consumption with no down payment and with fixed, long term payments via their property tax bill.”

About Ivy Knoll Retirement Community

Ivy Knoll, located in Covington, offers independent living, personal care, and short-term (respite) stays. They offer the most competitive rates along with the largest one-bedroom apartments available in the area. Each day three home-style meals are served table side to residents. A variety of activity offerings ensures an engaging and healthy social experience for residents that promotes friendships and a higher quality of life.

www.ivyknoll.com; Sam Cunningham

About Inland Green Capital LLC

Inland Green Capital LLC is an environmental finance and investment company. It provides capital for PACE project initiatives throughout the country. In addition to our enthusiasm for PACE from a business perspective, Inland is excited to provide leadership in advancing the energy-efficiency and sustainable movement sweeping the country.

www.inlandgreencapital.com; Mark Pikus

About the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is a nonprofit economic development agency that promotes investment in energy efficiency in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities by providing education, project management, and innovative financing solutions like PACE.

www.greatercea.org/commercial/ky-pace; Chris Jones

Contact

Chris Jones, Client Relations Director
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
513.621.4232 x121 | cjones@greatercea.org

 

Solarize Cincy Campaign

Jumpstarting Greater Cincinnati’s Solar Industry

Solar power is going mainstream. Our Solarize Cincy campaign is intended to help grow the demand for solar in Greater Cincinnati by getting residents, businesses, and local governments excited about the new, modern solar. Solar prices have dropped 73% in the past 10 years, so we believe now is a great time to help the region understand the benefits solar power can provide.

Our Short Term Goal: 50 Solar Installations

Our goal is to install 50 new solar projects by the end of June 2016. If each of these 50 projects only installed a very modest solar array of 3 kW, they would collectively:

  • create $14,100 of energy annually
  • create $352,500 of energy over the panels’ 25-year lifespan
  • save 2,920 tons of CO2 over 25 years

$1,500 City of Cincinnati Incentive

To make solar even more accessible, we’ve partnered with the city of Cincinnati to offer an incentive to Solarize Cincy participants who are also Cincinnati residents. Under the partnership, city of Cincinnati residents can receive $300 per kW, with a maximum incentive per home of $1,500. Funding is limited and available on a first come first served basis. (Click here to see how we’re doing.)

The Launch Event

We launched our campaign on October 1, 2015 in the Duke Energy Go Green Garden at the Cincinnati Zoo. City of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Thayne Maynard of the Cincinnati Zoo, and Andy Holzhauser of the Energy Alliance all spoke about the benefits that solar power for homeowners and the region. In addition to a great response from our local media, the event was a great opportunity to bring together the region’s solar influencers, from installers to government leaders, to fellow nonprofit partners.

Below are some pictures from our launch event.

IMG_7313_corrected_web

Andy Holzhauser, Energy Alliance:
“We believe the time has come for solar to be an impactful, economically feasible and meaningful energy source for homes in our area. Solar is truly at the tipping point.”

 

IMG_7324_corrected_web

Mayor John Cranley:
“It’s good for the environment and it’s good for your pocketbook… …this is a win-win.”

 

IMG_7328_corrected_b_web

Thayne Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo:
“It is possible to thrive and live sustainably and solar is a big part of that for the Cincinnati Zoo.”

 

IMG_7347_corrected_web

Attendees at our launch – from left to right: Josh Brooks, Brewster Rhoads, Michael Forrester, Sue Magness, Andy Holzhauser, Dane Ervick, Chris Meyer, Jeremy Faust, Thayne Maynard, Beth Robeson, Josh Moore, Steve Schumacher, Mark Wiley, Mark Fisher, Larry Feist, Toni Winston, Chad Yelton, Yancy Deering, Larry Falkin, and Sophia Cifuentes.

Photos by Brad Robeson

 

In the News: Solarize Cincy Launch at the Cincinnati Zoo

We’ve been in the news lately due to our Solarize Cincy launch event at the Cincinnati Zoo on October 1st. A special thanks to our local news outlets for sharing our story with their viewers.

Our coverage:

  • A nuts-and-bolts report on our Solarize Cincy program by WKRC Local 12’s Scott Dimmich
  • Energy Alliance CEO Andy Holzhauser interviewed on the second half Dan Hurley’s Newsmakers segment
  • Campaign launch coverage from WLWT 5, Fox 19, and Local 12

WKRC Local 12: Solarize Cincy report by Scott Dimmich

Graphics_Post_Solarize-Cincy-Scott-Dimmich

WKRC Local 12: Newsmakers: Andy Holzhauser Interview
(Our Segment starts at 16:44)

Graphics_Post_Solarize-Cincy-Newsmakers

WLWT 5: Solarize Cincy Launch Event Coverage

WKRC 12: Launch Coverage

Graphics_Post_Solarize-Cincy-Launch_12

FOX 19: Launch Coverage

EPAD Energy Efficiency Financing Signed Into Law in Kentucky

Last month, Energy Alliance team members Andy Holzhauser and Jeremy Faust were in Frankfort to attend a bill signing for the Energy Project Assessment District Act, or EPAD.

EPAD, also known as PACE nationally, is a unique economic development tool designed to allow commercial and industrial building owners to finance energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary special assessment attached to the property.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed the bill into law noting the energy and water saving potential that EPADs offer Kentucky businesses.

The Energy Alliance is working with partners throughout Kentucky to develop this new tool. If you are interested in learning more, please call us at 513-621-4232 ext. 3.

 

Governor Steve Beshear signing into law the Energy Project Assessment District Act. From left to right: Representative Russ Meyer, bill proponent; Representative James Kay, EPAD bill sponsor; Jeremy Faust, Energy Alliance Strategic Business Development Director; Governor Steve Beshear (seated); Andy Holzhauser, Energy Alliance CEO; Richard Pickren, Harshaw Trane Vice President of Finance; Brooke Parker, Frost Brown Todd.

Pic_Post_EPAD-Signing

Pen presented to the Energy Alliance as one of the 15 used to sign the bill into law.

Energy Alliance In the News: Senator Rob Portman Energy Bill

Our CEO, Andy Holzhauser, was asked to comment on the interesting history of and possible benefits from Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s currently stalled energy efficiency bill (the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2014).

The colorful account of the bill’s history can be read in the Cincinnati.com article: www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/27/portman-energy-bill/20942371/

 

 

Andy Holzhauser featured in news media commenting on the stalled Senator Rob Portman energy bill.

 

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 .

 

Energy Alliance 5th Anniversary

 

From our CEO, Andy Holzhauser:

“LinkedIn reminded me that the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance is now 5 years old (it seems like yesterday).

I have been so fortunate for this experience, one that has been enabled by the many things that are great about our region – a strong business and philanthropic community, access to leaders willing to help, government collaboration, and surrounded by people with a passion to make a difference.

Much more to come in the next 5 years and beyond!”

 

 

 

Forest Park’s 100+ Home Energy Upgrades

The Forest Park Environmental Awareness Program had an exciting milestone to celebrate for Earth Day this year.

Forest Park’s Residential Energy Efficiency Program facilitated its community’s 100th Home Energy Upgrade through the Energy Alliance’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program in April 2013.

The City of Forest Park has partnered with the Energy Alliance since March of 2011 to help its residents make whole-home energy efficiency improvements to their homes. Over 100 Forest Park homes have now successfully made comprehensive energy upgrades to their homes, which we consider a great success! These improvements have resulted in lower energy bills for residents, noticeable improvement to home comfort and usability, and a resulting improvement to our region’s air quality.

“Partnering with the City of Forest Park has generated incredible value to Forest Park customers, who can enjoy an even quicker payback on their home investment.”

Andy Holzhauser, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance

Investment = Savings + Local Jobs

Forest Park’s almost $750,000 investment in energy efficiency has generated over 6,000 hours of private sector labor and saved almost one million kWh annually through energy usage reductions. Wright Gwyn, the Forest Park Environmental Program Manager, is very excited about this program, which he considers quite successful and a worthy ongoing investment for Forest Park.

“Our programs are not isolated programs. It’s an environmental education type of experience where they see tangible results. A lot of people are not only getting money upfront to make improvements, but then they reap the benefits of long term savings as well.”

Wright Gwyn, Program Manager, Forest Park Environmental Program

On average, the Forest Park community members who have invested in their home’s efficiency by participating in the Energy Alliance’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program are saving approximately $400 per year on their energy bills, with some households enjoying savings of over $1,000 through energy efficiency investments.

“Investing in the efficiency of your home provides immediate savings, while improving the comfort and value of your home.”

Andy Holzhauser, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance

Exceeding Expectations

The partnership exceeded its goal of improving the efficiency of 100 Forest Park homes.  Homeowners who committed to a minimum 15 percent improvement of their homes’ efficiency received funding assistance to jump start their home energy upgrades. In addition to the cash incentives and low-interest loan option provided by the Energy Alliance, Forest Park residents were able to access up to $2,000 from their local Forest Park Environmental Awareness Program.

Wright Gwyn sees the Residential Energy Efficiency Programas an important piece in the puzzle of improving individual and community sustainability for Forest Park residents.

“Everything that we’re trying to develop for our residents is trying to improve the environmental quality of the Forest Park community. Energy efficiency has become a larger issue. It is an individual and a societal concern that we improve our energy efficiency in every way possible.”

Wright Gwyn, Program Manager, Forest Park Environmental Program

The Forest Park Residential Energy Efficiency Program is a project of the Forest Park Environmental Awareness Program, which is a department under the City of Forest Park.  The Environmental Awareness Program is committed to fostering a spirit of cooperation and shared responsibility among citizens, businesses, institutions, and governmental agencies towards the enhancement of local, regional, and global environmental quality.