Solon will use $89K NOPEC grant for municipal facility upgrades

The city of Solon received a 2019 Energized Community Grant from Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) for “nearly $89,000,” which it will use to “assist with municipal efficiency upgrades,” Cleveland.com reports. That money “will be added to the roughly $92,000 Energized Community Grant awarded by NOPEC late last year,” the article reports. City Finance Director Matt Rubino said Solon anticipates applying the combined $181,000 toward “new LED lighting and various equipment upgrades like heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and other building systems.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance, State Updates

NOPEC grant will fund energy upgrades for Madison Township facilities

Madison Township will use part of a Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) grant to purchase and install energy efficient replacement windows in the Bill Stanton Community Park banquet hall, The News-Herald reports. The township received a $47,362 NOPEC Energized Community grant for 2019, and “has a $31,000 carryover from the same program last year,” according to the article. Money from the grant will also be used to install “a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit for the township Administration Building.” For more, read the full article.

 

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Tallmadge joins Akron-Summit County ESID

Businesses and organizations in the city of Tallmadge “now have the opportunity to borrow money to pay for energy improvement projects and then repay the loan through a special assessment,” MyTownNEO reports. Tallmadge City Council recently approved making the city a member of the Akron-Summit County Energy Special Improvement District (ESID). Businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies in the ESID can fund energy upgrades to lighting, heating and air conditioning, roofing and other systems and repay the loan through an assessment against the property. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Fairview Park awarded $68K grant for energy efficiency improvements

The city of Fairview Park was recently awarded a $68,400 Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) grant “for energy efficiency and/or energy infrastructure projects in the community,” Cleveland.com reports. Director of Public Service and Development Shawn Leininger said there are “a number of energy efficiency improvement projects” the city is considering, including lighting improvements or more energy-efficient doors and windows for the service garage. The city also received a NOPEC grant in 2018; that $70,000 is going toward the Senior Center’s $554,000 roof replacement. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Cincinnati Council members propose changes to tax abatement criteria

Three members of Cincinnati City Council are asking for more information on how the city grants tax incentives and whether the city should add requirements for affordable housing and environmental standards to those tax incentives, CityBeat reports. Council members Tamaya Dennard, Greg Landsman and Wendell Young introduced a motion in an effort to “both continue to incentivize development in Cincinnati while making sure people who live in the city’s neighborhoods benefit from it and aren’t displaced by changes coming to various communities” including rapidly developing Over-the-Rhine and others. Some specific changes to the city’s abatement policy “could include requiring LEED Gold or Platinum certification” as opposed to the currently required Silver, “and requiring residential developments seeking abatements to provide some units affordable to those with lower income levels.” For more, read the full article

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Environmental, Financial Incentives

OSU-area hotel making $16M in energy efficiency upgrades with PACE financing

The Marriott Hotel & Residence Inn on Olentangy River Road near The Ohio State University main campus will get $16.3 million in energy efficiency upgrades funded through Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing, Columbus Business First reports. The financing, which was the largest publicly announced C-PACE transaction in the United States in 2018 (see our December 14, 2018 blog post), will fund “a comprehensive building envelope upgrade, lighting improvements and other efficiency measures,” according to the article. The upgrades “are expected to save significant energy costs for the hotel in coming years.” For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Project Finance

Court dismisses class action against Cleveland Public Power

The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas dismissed a class action lawsuit against Cleveland Public Power (CPP), holding that certain utility charges totaling more than $188 million were not unlawful. The crux of the lawsuit was Environmental and Ecological Adjustment (EEA) charges that CCP charged customers in addition to base rates. Unlike base rates, EEA charges do not need approval from city council. The EEA charges were collected by CPP from 1984 into 2013. And although CPP stopped assessing these fees in 2013, it began charging customers again in 2017. The plaintiffs claimed that CPP was not allowed to charge the EEA charges under the terms of CPP’s electric service contract with its customers, because these charges did not relate to compliance with environmental laws or regulations.             

To examine the plaintiffs’ breach of contract claim, the court analyzed the City of Cleveland’s ordinances, which incorporate the terms of the electric service contract. After analyzing the ordinances establishing the EEA, the court rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments. The court found that the language of the ordinances (and, thus, the electric service contract) did not limit the scope of EEA charges to costs related to environmental laws or regulations.                                                        

The court’s decision is likely to be appealed, but it closes the first chapter in a contentious legal battle regarding CPP’s utility charges. The decision is also noteworthy due to the court’s in-depth analysis of the applicable standard of review for Ohio courts that are asked to consider the lawfulness of municipal utilities’ rates.

For more, read the full decision.

Energy Efficiency, Miscellaneous, State Updates

GreenGen to upgrade energy efficiency at three Ohio GSA facilities

An Energy Savings Performance Contract awarded to Green Generation (GreenGen) will help three Ohio General Services Administration (GSA) facilities reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. GreenGen was “awarded a Task Order to design and install energy efficiency upgrades” including interior/exterior LED lighting and RTU and split system equipment replacement at the facilities, according to the article. The $1,059,000 contract “will be financed over a 12-year term,” and will “guarantee minimum first year savings of $83,623 and provide for $1.37 million in energy and cost savings for the US government during the contract term while improving the environment.”

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates

PACE Financing Resource Center and whitepaper

Bricker's Economic Development team recently launched a collection of online resources highlighting the opportunities, challenges and mechanics of PACE financing. In addition to an interactive map identifying all of the state's PACE programs, the resource center also features a free, downloadable white paper describing the details of using this financing tool in Ohio.  

Economic Development, Energy Efficiency, Financial Incentives, Project Finance, State Updates

“Bring Your Green” participants saved more than $600K in energy costs

Results of the ‘Bring Your Green 2.0 Challenge’ were recently announced by Dayton Power & Light (DP&L), Dayton Regional Green, IGS Energy, Vectren and Energy Optimizers, the Dayton Daily News reports. Local businesses, schools and organizations “competed to reduce their environmental impact, save energy and resources, and engage their employees and students in sustainability efforts,” according to the article. The challenge resulted in energy cost savings of $639,644, more than “6,875 tons of CO2 release into the atmosphere prevented,” 6,867,064 kWh in electricity saved, and the equivalent “to taking 935 homes off the grid and 1,336 cars off the road.” For more, read the full article

Energy Efficiency, Environmental, State Updates
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