The City of Omaha will partner with Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Weatherization Trust, Inc. on a pilot project in the Orchard Hill neighborhood in Omaha, NE on an innovative energy efficiency project.
This project will be called the Orchard Hill Energy Efficiency Project (OHEEP). The Orchard Hill neighborhood is located in Northeast Omaha and has one of the highest energy burdens in the City. The overall scope of this project will involve engaging property owners in a process that provides energy education, audits, and retrofits for their buildings.
OHEEP will involve five specific components:
- Marketing the benefits of home energy efficiency neighborhood-wide. This activity will be provided by OPPD and Orchard Hill's Neighborhood Advocate.
- Recruit participants to partake in audit and retrofit. This activity will be provided by Orchard Hill's Neighborhood Advocate and Weatherization Trust. Note: Property owners must meet the Weatherization Trust criteria of 200% poverty level to be eligible to participate.
- Provide free energy audits to project participants. This activity will be performed by qualified auditors from Weatherization Trust and OPPD.
- Retrofit properties to maximize energy efficiency and conservation efforts. This activity will be performed by the City of Omaha (using EECBG funds) and the Weatherization Trust. Once the audits are complete, retrofits to improve energy efficiency will be identified. Weatherization Trust will fund weatherization measures, as prescribed through the state energy office. The City's EECBG will fund enhanced energy conservation measures, beyond weatherization. An example of retrofits that would be procured through EECBG include appliances, window air units, and heat pumps. EECBG funds may also be used to fund retrofits to rental units. OPPD will provide contributions through energy efficient equipment rebates. The total amount spent per house will be approximately $8,000.
- Track energy savings. OPPD will provide measurement of the energy savings by tracking kWh and therms saved. Lessons learned from OHEEP will be applied to additional lower income neighborhoods, as funding allows.
The Weatherization Trust completed a cumulative 154 applications, 122 audits, and 102 retrofits by the end of August. Cumulatively 132,000 sq. ft. has been audited while 112,000 sq. ft. was retrofitted.