Follow-up to council remarks

To the editor:

At Monday’s city council work session on the Renewable Energy Credits, I made brief unprepared remarks that I want to clarify.

The point I tried to make is that one possible use of REC proceeds deposited in the Sustainable Reserve Account would be to provide low- or no-interest loans to landlords and business owners as an incentive for undertaking major energy efficiency upgrades of their properties. I am well aware of owners of business and rental properties in Oberlin who have taken significant steps toward making their properties more environmentally sustainable. I applaud them for the efforts they have taken!

But even these people might be helped to make further improvements, and those who have yet to upgrade their properties could be encouraged to start the process if they had help handling the front-end cost of such work. This would be a win-win-win-win situation. Tenants would have lower utility bills; housing and building stock would be made more valuable; the city’s carbon footprint would be reduced; and this initiative would boost our chances of winning the $1 million Georgetown University Energy Prize.

John D. Elder