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Title: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) - Better Buildings Neighborhood Program at Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance: Home Performance with Energy Star® and Better Buildings Performance

The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (Energy Alliance) is a nonprofit economic development agency dedicated to helping Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities reduce energy consumption. The Energy Alliance has launched programs to educate homeowners, commercial property owners, and nonprofit organizations about energy efficiency opportunities they can use to drive energy use reductions and financial savings, while extending significant focus to creating/retaining jobs through these programs. The mission of the Energy Alliance is based on the premise that investment in energy efficiency can lead to transformative economic development in a region. With support from seven municipalities, the Energy Alliance began operation in early 2010 and has been among the fastest growing nonprofit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. The Energy Alliance offers two programs endorsed by the Department of Energy: the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program for homeowners and the Better Buildings Performance Program for commercial entities. Both programs couple expert guidance, project management, and education in energy efficiency best practices with incentives and innovative energy efficiency financing to help building owners effectively invest in the energy efficiency, comfort, health, longevity, and environmental impact of their residential or commercial buildings. The Energy Alliance has raised over $23 million ofmore » public and private capital to build a robust market for energy efficiency investment. Of the $23 million, $17 million was a direct grant from the Department of Energy Better Buildings Neighborhood Program (BBNP). The organization’s investments in energy efficiency projects in the residential and commercial sector have led to well over $50 million in direct economic activity and created over 375,000 hours of labor created or retained. In addition, over 250 workers have been trained through the Building Performance Training Center, a program that was developed and funded by the Energy Alliance and housed at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Nearly 100 residential and commercial contractors currently participate in the Energy Alliance’s two major programs, which have together served over 2,800 residential and 100 commercial customers. Additionally, the Energy Alliance established loan programs for homeowners, nonprofits and commercial businesses. The GC-HELP program was established to provide up to ten year low interest, unsecured loans to homeowners to cover the energy efficiency products they purchased through the Energy Alliance approved contractor base. To date the Energy Alliance has financed over $1 million in energy efficiency loans for homeowners, without any loans written off. The nonprofit business community is offered five year, fixed-interest rate loans through the Building Communities Loan Fund of $250,000. Additionally, the Energy Alliance has developed GC-PACE, a commercial financing tool that enables buildings owners to finance their energy upgrades through voluntary property assessments deploying low-interest extended-term capital from the bond market. The Energy Alliance and its partners are actively evaluating additional market-based financing solutions.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, Cincinnati, Ohio
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY Energy Efficiency, Economic Development, Clean Energy Financing, Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Hamilton County