If you are building new or renovating an existing building, you may have considered trying to obtain LEED certification for your project but decided after analyzing the cost that it was not within your budget. Well now, thanks to the Ohio Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan (HB 554), LEED-certified projects may be eligible to receive funding. A little-known agency in Ohio has been tasked with reviewing and approving grants and loans under the Advanced Energy portion of HB 554. With $150 million in funding available over the next three years, this little-known agency, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA), could become your next funding source.
The $150 million has been divided into two parts: $66 million for clean coal technology projects and $84 million for non-coal related projects (to be distributed in three $28 million annual appropriations). The projects eligible for non-coal related funding include various projects such as fuel cells, increased efficiency in electricity generation, advanced solid waste or construction and demolition debris conversion technologies, and renewable energy resources (wind, solar, etc.). Another category includes, “Any technologies, products, activities or management practices or strategies that reduce or support the reduction of energy consumption or support the production of clean renewable energy.”
At a recent presentation given by Kimberly Gibson, Assistant to the Energy Advisor at OAQDA, Ms. Gibson noted that “green” building projects may be eligible to receive a grant or loan under this last category. Constructing or renovating your building to be green would reduce the building’s energy consumption, the requirement of this last category. Inclusion within one of the categories is not the only requirement. When determining whether to approve a grant or loan, OAQDA also evaluates whether the project will result in new jobs, will assist Ohio manufacturing, and whether the project is adequately funded.