While some cities focus on tackling just one aspect of climate change, Cincinnati is taking a multi-faceted approach Cincinnati Green Plan Achieve 100 percent renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions by 2035. Hamilton County passed successfully last year Issue 7that will improve and promote cleaner transit, and the city launched the largest communal solar project in the country. In 2021, Cincinnati moves from transit and renewable energy to its next goal of achieving equitable access to energy in residential buildings through a new small-grant initiative to encourage building owners to make energy-efficient modernizations to apartment buildings, especially low-income buildings Tenant.
At the time of inception, most energy efficiency programs were aimed at single family home owners, leaving a significant gap in apartment buildings, which also contribute to a city’s energy waste and emissions. Fundamental improvements in the energy efficiency of individual units, such as B. LED light bulbs and weathering of draughty windows, can almost lead to an improvement 15 percent cost savings For tenants, building improvements like HVAC systems for home builders can save a whopping 30 to 50 percent in cost. Taken together, these measures have the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, significantly improve a city’s overall energy efficiency, and reduce energy pollution for the most vulnerable.
In November 2020, Cincinnati, in partnership with Duke Energy Ohio, launched a new grant program to incentivize apartment building owners to improve efficiency capital in order to achieve deeper energy savings, reduce the energy burden on tenants, and solve the problem Split incentive Phenomenon that makes it difficult to implement energy-saving measures in apartment buildings.
The first round of small grants selected ten capital upgrade buildings in seven neighborhoods of Cincinnati.
The program is equivalent to investing in energy efficiency capital improvements dollar for dollar up to $ 5,000. Upgrades must directly lower utility bills – not natural gas consumption – and result in demonstrable energy savings for low-income tenants. Eligible expenses Include wall, window or other infrastructure insulation; Recycling and replacement of old equipment through Energy Star certified models; LED lighting; Central air conditioning; and efficient water flow devices, among others.
The scholarship program is part of a suite of Energy Equity Programs The aim is to sensibly address energy waste and pollution for low-income residents, a sector historically difficult to reach. Scholarship holders must have tenants who live 200 percent below the federal poverty line. Recipients must also undertake to maintain the rent level prior to the award and the same percentage of low-income tenants in the building for at least two years after the award. Additionally, preferred buildings are those located in Cincinnati’s high energy areas where the Tenant burden is 6 percent or higher, twice the national average. Applicants can be either non-profit organizations such as existing affordable housing or non-profit companies such as developments that maintain a certain portion of the affordable housing stock.
The Matching Grants program was designed as an annual program. The first round of Grant Awards was announced on December 18, but Cincinnati did Office for Environment and Sustainability approved a second financing round in spring 2021. An additional flagship capital improvement program, focused on energy audits and energy improvements for the entire building, is scheduled to start in February. In order to reach the residents directly, a free program combines tenants with training on reducing energy consumption and direct billing support.
Cincinnati is one of 25 cities selected to participate in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate ChallengeThis enables cities to take decisive action to reduce pollution, which is contributing to climate change and affecting public health. Implementing this small grant program is one of the exciting initiatives the Climate Challenge was able to support.