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Cincinnati Wants To Increase Number Of Minorities Using Solar

roof solar panels

Armed with an equity map, Cincinnati's Office of Environment and Sustainability (OES) is on a mission to get more minorities interested in rooftop solar.

Avondale, Bond Hill and Lower Price Hill are among the neighborhoods Solarize Cincy co-program managers Jennifer Zavon and Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson are targeting.

"Rocky Mountain Institute has helped us create an equity map so we can target our focus on neighborhoods that have not signed up for this cohort," says Hawkins-Johnson.

The cohort is a bulk-buying program for rooftop solar where residents can get a group discount. Solar United Neighbors is running it, and has scheduled a couple of online information sessions: April 29, May 5 and May 25. Here is a link to register.


Zavon and Hawkins-Johnson know solar can be expensive and say Clean Energy Credit Union has specific loans targeted for solar.

OES says there's no commitment to sign up for the co-op. It will just allow you to get more information and send an inspector out to see if your home is suitable for rooftop solar.

Zavon says solar is for everyone. "We're not assuming certain communities are going to benefit versus certain communities aren't; or certain communities wan't solar, certain communities don't. Our role is to get the information out there across the board and make sure that everyone has equitable access to this information."

Solarize Cincy says you don't have to live in Cincinnati to take part. The co-op will close June 30.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.