Energy Efficiency

In the Oberlin community, we presently spend roughly $15 million each year on electricity and natural gas – this number could be cut in half with the economically feasible technical solutions available today. Reducing energy use through efficiency has the added benefit of increasing the comfort of your home for you and your family, reducing monthly utility bills, building a local energy economy that creates jobs and ownership, and making our community more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and sudden cost spikes.

Spotlight on Providing Oberlin With Efficiency Responsibly (POWER)

Oberlin-POWER-logo-smallProviding Oberlin With Efficiency Responsibly (POWER) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) grassroots environmental justice organization whose purpose is to increase the energy efficiency of housing in Oberlin. Founded in 2008, POWER has created a local carbon offset mechanism and leveraged grants to fund the insulation and weatherization of 22 homes for low-income residents in Oberlin.

POWER seeks to:

  • Make low income individuals more financially secure in the face of rising utility costs
  • Improve the quality of life of residents by creating a more comfortable home
  • Reduce the amount of pollution and CO2 emitted by Oberlin housing
  • Provide a way for the community to take responsibility for unavoidable CO2 emissions

POWER is currently planning a pilot Energy Advocate program in collaboration with Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System, and the Oberlin Project. This program will fund a position that will assist all Oberlin homeowners with securing energy audits, learning about available efficiency improvements and financing options, and going through the process of receiving an energy retrofit.

Spotlight on Oberlin Municipal Light & Power System

Oberlin Municipal Light & Power System (OMLPS) has initiated a 3-year Efficiency Smart Power Plant program to support and drive investment in electric energy efficiency through market-based and custom services in collaboration with American Municipal Power (AMP) and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC).

Efficiency Smart Power Plant builds upon OMLPS’s strong track record of providing efficiency services to its customers. Click to learn more about Energy Efficiency programs for residents and businesses.

OMLPS and the City are leading by example and saving taxpayer dollars by engaging in energy efficiency makeovers for municipal buildings and operations. Visible efficiency gains have been made already in Oberlin by switching old incandescent bulbs for LED lighting in the rooms and offices of City Hall, the traffic signals telling cars to stop and pedestrians to walk, and the holiday strands that brighten the streets downtown throughout the winter. LED retrofits reduced electrical consumption for traffic signal control by two thirds and annual electric use for holiday lighting by a whopping 97%.

Even greater total energy savings have resulted from several projects modernizing city facilities that had not received any special attention since they were built in the 1950s. These include renovations to lighting, heating and cooling, and mechanical systems completed in 2010 at the city’s Water Treatment Plant (12.15% decrease in electric consumption) and Water Environment Protection Facility (21% decrease). The plants’ combined energy savings since the renovations equal the amount of electricity 10–15 Oberlin households use in a year.

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