VP Biden announces clean energy funding for Queen City - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

VP Biden announces clean energy funding for Queen City

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that Cincinnati is one of 25 communities who will receive funding for clean energy efforts.

The Queen City will receive $17 million under the Department of Energy's Retrofit Ramp-Up initiative.

Overall, $452 million in Recovery Act funding is going to energy efficiency building retrofits to 25 different communities. The models created through this program are expected to save households and businesses about a $100 million annually in utility bills, while leveraging private sector resources to create what funding recipients estimate at about 30,000 jobs across the country during the next three years.

The Greater Cincinnati Retrofit Ramp-Up program will conduct community and organizational outreach with energy advisory services focused on retrofits in the residential, commercial, and public sectors to reduce energy bills for thousands of home and business owners through energy efficiency retrofits of thousands of homes, businesses, multi-family buildings and public and institutional buildings. 

The project will be led by the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, which is a collaborative program involving seven local government partners in the region.  The project seeks to utilize a model of community collaboration, including marketing, utility program integration, financing affordability and accessibility, customer participation and workforce development.

 In addition to the $452 million Recovery Act investment, the 25 projects announced today will leverage an estimated $2.8 billion from other sources over the next three years to retrofit hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the country. 

Overall, the program funding was eight times oversubscribed, with more than $3.5 billion in applications received for the just over $450 million in Recovery Act funds available, indicating significant demand for investment in energy-saving and job-creating projects like these nationwide.   

Grantees will employ innovative financing models to make these savings accessible, for example by offering low and no-interest loans that are repaid through property tax and utility bills.  In implementing these projects, grantees will deliver verified energy savings and incorporate sustainable business models, to ensure that buildings will continue to be retrofitted after Recovery Act funds are spent.  The Department will use the lessons learned from these pilot programs to develop best-practice guides to comprehensive retrofit programs that can be adopted and implemented by communities across the country.

The Retrofit Ramp-Up projects, which are part of the overall $80 billion Recovery Act investment in clean energy and energy efficiency, complement the Obama Administration's ‘Recovery through Retrofit' initiative, which lays the groundwork for a self-sustaining and robust home energy efficiency industry.  The awards are the competitive portion of DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, which was funded for the first time under the Recovery Act to help state, local, and tribal communities make strategic investments in improving energy efficiency, reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions. 

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