UpGrade Athens County Reforms Southeastern Ohio Energy Strategy
Weather can be serious business in Ohio with hot, humid summers, cold winters, and extreme weather possible throughout the year. With such a broad climate spectrum, proper weatherization of homes is critical to reducing household energy costs. As a byproduct, saving energy also reduces environment impacts.
Ohio has been consistently ahead of the game with innovative energy strategies particularly for lower income households. Even when the Home Weatherization Assistance Program was hit with hard times by a decrease in Federal funding, Ohio organizations such as the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) stayed strong. Information about COAD and its programs has been reported frequently here on the Greenest Insulation Blog and they recently shared an innovative initiative that is underway in the Southeastern Ohio region served by COAD.
Athens county in Ohio has a population of more than 60,000 and is the home to the second largest university in the state: Ohio University. Upgrade Athens County (UAC) is a collaboration of stakeholders from all segments of the county with a shared vision to raise energy awareness, increase efficiencies and lower the out-of-pocket utility costs for homeowners and businesses. The collaboration includes non-profits, city and county government, businesses, public schools and energy experts all working toward the goal of energy efficiency.
According to its website:
UpGrade Athens County is a project of the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council. SOPEC is a pro-consumer council of governments dedicated to bringing lower utility costs to families and businesses in Southeastern Ohio. SOPEC has negotiated affordable energy for aggregation customers through contracts with Empower Gas and Electric.
Championed by Athens County Commissioner Chris Chmiel, UAC has broad support and a strong mandate to implement county-wide energy reform. The organization is now in competition for a prestigious and lucrative $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize. We believe they deserve to win.
Learn more about Upgrade Athens County and its trendsetting programs on their website.
CIMA producer members have collaborated with COAD on projects to help local organizations in their area. Many CIMA member companies supply insulation and provide technical support to weatherization agencies in Ohio and throughout the nation. Historically, government and industry supported weatherization programs have represented a significant part of the cellulose insulation market.
Cellulose insulation is the natural choice and excels at the basic function of insulation–saving energy. However, as concerns about rising energy costs and climate change continue to mount, more regions and states will look for innovative ideas like UAC and energy saving products like cellulose insulation that also have lower environmental impacts.Cellulose insulation has the lowest embodied energy among the leading types of insulation: it takes less energy to make than any other leading insulation material. At up to 85% recycled content, most of it post consumer waste paper, Cellulose insulation is by design the Eco-friendly energy saving building material.