Our staff and volunteers are getting geared up for the 19th annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival at Lake Snowden from September 15-17 - Get your  tickets now!

The 3rd year of the UpGrade Energy Village will draw Pawpaw Fest attendees that are eager to take action by supporting local clean energy efforts. The Energy Village tent will feature a large solar array trailer and opportunities for fest-goers to tap into an emerging local energy movement.

Visit the UpGrade Energy Village at the 2017 Ohio Pawpaw Fest and find:
  • Renewable energy technology and innovative clean energy exhibits
  • Ride the express rail to energy independence with the solar electric tractor ride
  • Test drive an electric car at the Electric Vehicle (EV) "Ride & Drive" - information about joining the EV Cruisers electric car club in Athens County, Ohio
  • Energy talks (in the Ohio Country Fair Tent) on Sunday 11:45 a.m. -2 p.m. about DIY bio-gas, solar energy collection, and advanced energy storage
Ready to join our movement? Want to help Southeast Ohio communities advance on clean energy? We hope to hear from you: www.upgradeohio.org/contact

If you are on Facebook, join the Athens County public discussion: 

We hope you came to join the crowds of happy folks at scenic Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio for 3 days of Pawpaw music, food, contests, art, history, education, sustainable living workshops and activities for the kids!
In This Newsletter:

- Village Bakery celebrates new EV charger
- AEP Ohio plan seeks $10 million EV investment
- News from the World of Energy
- Last chance to pledge support for Glow

Not getting this in your inbox?

Stay Energized,
Sarah Conley-Ballew
UpGrade Ohio, Executive Director
Village Bakery joins Little Fish Brewing as next local business to get an EV charger!

On Saturday, September 9th, the Village Bakery unveiled its new electric vehicle (EV) charger. UpGrade Ohio (Athens) -an organization that connects people with local resources to reduce energy use and to access renewable energy solutions-donated the charger, which is supported by 100% renewable energy. It runs on a combination of purchased wind power and energy from the solar panels atop the bakery's roof.   

Bob O'Neil, co-owner of the bakery, said this was always on the business plan. "We were really excited to install the charger as a part of national drive electric week." He noted that sustainability has always been an important part of the bakery. "It's time to move away from fossil fuels and towards national and global responsibility. We can do it-we are." Bob emphasized the ease of installation. "All you need is a parking spot and somewhere to put the charger. It's like hooking up a dryer."  He encourages people to stop by, have a bite to eat, top off (if their cars allow), and see the charger.
This event took place at the beginning of National Drive Electric Week , which will run until the 17th of September. In addition to the presence of UpGrade, Clean Fuels Ohio attended the event in collaboration with Midwest EVOLVE . The actions taken by the Village Bakery are demonstrative of a wider movement across the United States. Small businesses like the bakery and Little Fish Brewing are helping to drive energy reform.

Bob's thoughts were echoed by John Jory, the owner of a shiny red Tesla that parked outside the bakery Saturday. When asked why he chose a Tesla, John referenced the environment. "I bought it because of the impact it has on the way we treat our world." At the event, John patiently and enthusiastically answered questions about his electric vehicle. When asked what his favorite thing about the Tesla was, he told us he enjoyed driving by gas stations on the road. People often complain about gas prices. John's response: "Gas? What's that for?"

Athens will have more to celebrate in terms of renewable energy this coming weekend at the Pawpaw Festival. There will be a ride and drive, where festival goers can try an electric vehicle for themselves! For more information on all of the above, catch up with WOUB's recent broadcast   here.  

AEP Ohio Plan Could Lead to $10 Million Investment in Electric Vehicle Charging

Originally published by Sam Spofforth as a Clean Fuels Ohio  blog post...

Last Friday, August 25, several parties announced a  settlement agreement  on a multi-faceted proposal filed by AEP Ohio this past spring. The settlement includes a $10 million investment in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to be made in AEP Ohio's service territory. The settlement is still subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). While there is broad consensus around the program, the  Columbus Dispatch  reports some, including the Ohio Consumers Council, remain opposed to the EV portion of the agreement.

I provided  testimony from Clean Fuels Ohio  in support of AEP Ohio's program on behalf of three interveners - Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Law and Policy Center. This step is the result of months of hard work by AEP Ohio, all of our organizations, the Electric Vehicle Charging Association and many others. The PUCO and Commission Staff deserve tremendous credit for their willingness to engage around this through the spring and summer despite a heavy case load and the complexities of their  Power Forward  grid modernization initiative.

This is an extremely positive development for the EV market and EV owners in Ohio and beyond. First, AEP Ohio's program would be the first approved by state regulators in Ohio or any Midwestern state. For scale, AEP's spending by customer ($10M for 1.5M customers) would be on par with programs approved to date for California's investor owned utilities ($195M for ~22.5M customers).

If approved, AEP Ohio would initiate a four-year rebate program, incentivizing the installation of 75 dedicated cast chargers and 300 level 2 chargers in multi-unit dwellings, workplaces, and public locations, with a carve out for disadvantaged communities.

Rebates would be provided to site hosts who would own the equipment. These hosts would be required to select equipment from among multiple charging station providers. All stations would need to support demand response and customer-friendly open standards and protocols. AEP Ohio would be permitted to take a 5% fee to administer the rebate program and submit regular reports.

The program would be considered a pilot. PUCO staff have indicated they are still interested in gathering more information about the appropriate roles of utilities in the EV charging market, effective program models, and additional needed policies. Clean Fuels Ohio and others have submitted a proposal for how this might be done through the Power Forward proceeding, which is expected to resume in 2018. A key question will be whether a rebate program, which relies on third parties, will succeed in moving the market to deploy and reliably maintain charging stations where needed.

The AEP Ohio program comes at an ideal time. Since EVs were introduced into the mass market in 2011, demand has grown continuously despite low gas prices. In Ohio, consumers now have a wider array of plug-in vehicle choices, and 200+ mile range EVs entering our market will further accelerate demand. Battery costs have decreased 73% since 2010, and will decline significantly more. Over the next 10 years, EVs will be less expensive than internal combustion vehicles. Consumers will respond to the lower cost of ownership and superior driving experience.
Educational efforts through  Drive Electric Ohio  and  Smart Columbus  will accelerate consumer adoption. The need for investment in charging infrastructure is critical to overcome this most significant market barrier and avoid backups at  inadequate charging stations  today.
News from UpGrade Athens County and the World of Energy 
"The number of American workers holding clean energy jobs will soon pass 600,000, and Ohio and Michigan are home to a large portion of the workforce, according to a report released Thursday... Such jobs include those in energy generation roles and those involved in the production and maintenance of hybrid and electric vehicles. " -- The Toledo Blade

Over the past few weeks, Hurricane Harvey (and Irma) has reminded us all how quickly disaster can strike and how devastating Mother Nature can be. I do not intend to minimize the very real human suffering that occurs (and is ongoing) as a result of the hurricane, but given my profession, it was unavoidable that I would muse about how distributed renewable energy - particularly solar energy - could help us through disastrous times.. "  --  Solar Industry Mag

"Geothermal systems can provide precise distribution of comfortable air all year long, eliminating hot spots and cold spots. During heating, you'll experience warm air without the hot blasts associated with ordinary gas furnaces or the cooler air of an air-source heat pump. Additionally, when cooling, geothermal systems deliver cool, dehumidified air. A type of heat pump known as a water-to-water unit can provide space conditioning and/or domestic water heating using indoor refrigerant-to-water heat exchangers. These models are often used for radiant floor heating. -- Proud Green Home

"PURPA was designed to be a driver of conservation and renewable energy in response to the energy crisis of the early 1970s. The law requires utilities to purchase energy produced at what are known as Qualifying Facilities (QFs) if they match a utility's avoided cost. "Avoided cost" is defined as the cost equal to or below what utilities have to pay for energy produced by a traditional power plant."   --  Greentech Media

"However, because states (in PJM) do not share the same perspective on carbon, the operator also believes a "coordinated carbon policy could be advanced through the PJM markets by a sub-region of states prepared to adopt a common set of business rules. -- Utility Dive

Last chance to support Glow - local biz creates smart energy tracker for home!
Back this project - Early Bird pledges of at least $175 still available!
Did you forget to turn off the oven , is a space heater running in an empty room , or the curling iron still on ? There are devices in our homes that shouldn't be left running unattended. No need to worry though--now you can find out right from your phone. 

The Glow product + app lets you check your home's energy usage when you're on-the-go. Even better, notifications alert you of abnormal usage  patterns so you can take action right away. No more nasty surprises at home or on your electricity bill!

Raise Your Energy IQ!
What is UpGrade Athens County/ UpGrade Ohio?
UpGrade Athens County, the lead project of UpGrade Ohio (UGO), was formed to guide the development of a comprehensive energy strategy that is affordable, efficient, sustainable, and coordinated for and by Athens County residents. In collaboration with regional partners, UGO is setting objectives for energy conservation and supporting communities to achieve regional energy sustainability throughout Southeast Ohio.

UpGrade Ohio has broad support and a strong mandate to implement state-wide energy reform.  Through our primary work in Athens County, we are also competing in the  Georgetown University Energy Prize   competition. If we win, that means $5 million!

UpGrade Ohio works closely with 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. For 2016, SOPEC has negotiated affordable energy for aggregation customers through contracts with UpGrade Ohio   and AEP Energy

For more information about SOPEC, c ontact SOPEC Director at
Our Shared Vision
Working collaboratively, SOPEC and UpGrade Ohio will transform the energy economy in Southeast Ohio by engaging citizens in energy awareness, resulting in citizen action that reduces energy consumption, increases energy efficiency, spurs technological innovation, and improves long -term economic and environmental sustainability for the region.
Project Areas
UpGrade Ohio (UGO) projects are led by staff  and guided by the UGO Board. Volunteers have also helped develop strategies to engage citizens in the following project areas:

  • Better Buildings for Ohio
  • Rental Efficiency Initiative
  • Energy Advocate services
  • EV Loan Program & EV advocacy
  • Solar Education Workshop Series
  • Renewable Energy Assistance
  • Sustainability Program and Partnerships

Mathew Roberts, Info and Outreach Director
UpGrade Ohio
[email protected]    |   740-707-0131

Join The Athens Energy Institute!

 Members of the Athens Energy Institute's Seminar Series will study and discuss critical legal and regulatory issues affecting community energy development in Ohio and elsewhere. 

Next meeting:  September 21 (tentative)  |  5:30 - 7 PM
                                ACEnet, 94 Columbus Rd., 
                                Athens, OH    45701
The momentum is strong for an energy revolution - 
join us and transform the future of Appalachian Ohio!
Spread the word, get involved, and remember
Every Kilowatt Counts!












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