US Green Building Council - Ohio Chapter - Southwest Ohio Region

Local Government

100% Renewable Energy Option

April 26th, 2012: “Cincinnati will be the first major city in America to choose a 100% “green” electricity supply for its eligible residents and small businesses while saving as many as 53,000 households money through the City’s Government Aggregation Program.

The City has selected First Energy Solutions (FES) as the City’s new electricity provider through an aggregation process in which the City represents all eligible individual customers as one larger buying unit to negotiate a lower price on electricity. Specifically, Cincinnati is collectively becoming a giant consumer to whom the green energy market can sell.

FES’s selection will save the average eligible household approximately $133 per year on their electricity bills. Energy aggregation was proposed by City Council and approved by voters in November 2011. City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. selected First Energy from seven proposals submitted in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP).

“I went into the decision-making process with no pre-determined outcomes in mind,” said Dohoney. “This process provided the opportunity to promote renewable energy, and places Cincinnati as a national leader, at the forefront of green energy in this country. That is where we want Cincinnati to be.” ~Press Release Apr 26

Cincinnati Streetcar

Cincinnati Regional Members have had a large part in pushing the Streetcar development forward, and the Emerging Professionals even held a design competition in 2011 for a Streetcar station in the city.  The City of Cincinnati and Duke have now made an agreement regarding moving the utilities along the streetcar route. Under the agreement, Duke will start moving the utilities and the responsibility for who will pay for the relocation will be determined in court.  Completion date hopeful for summer of 2015.

LEED Tax Abatement Revision

The Cincinnati Regional Chapter has been in communication with Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan on the best way to go about the City’s tax incentive revision as to not deter owners from pursuing LEED by making it too difficult, but also to not lose the value of the system by lowering the years allowed for the abatement.

The Cincinnati City Council approved the new tax-abatement guidelines in December 2012.  The 15 year abatement (residential) and the 12 year abatement (commercial) remained the same in length of years.

For Residential construction, the limit on maximum value of the abatement was lowered for Certified and Silver Ratings from $562,000 down to $275,000 and $400,000, respectively.  There is still no limit for Platinum certifications.

For Commercial construction the Certified level was dropped from the abatement.  Only Silver, Gold, and Platinum will get the 100% abatement.