Energize Clinton County first began its work in 2008 by leading a community campaign to develop a vision for green development in the city of Wilmington. ECC collaborated with the City of Wilmington and the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission to pass a City Ordinance which established the Green Enterprise Zone in the City of Wilmington. Through this ordinance the Green Enterprise Zone Development Council (GEZDC) was also established and is comprised of public and private sector members.
While offering incentives and potential funding for energy efficient and green development, the largest gain from the GEZ ordinance and the GEZDC was institutionalizing the City of Wilmington’s desire to better understand the opportunities of 21st Century development. The City sees Green Development as not only a way to “plug the leaks” in the local economy, but also as a way to provide a strategic advantage in future business and workforce development.
In just the first year of the GEZ’s existence, ECC was able to assist the City of Wilmington and Clinton County in obtaining $1.3 million in stimulus funding to develop three renewable energy projects. ECC, through the GEZDC, and in collaboration with the University of Dayton, is now working to better understand residential and commercial energy usage in Clinton County. By improving the efficiency of energy usage, Clinton County will be able to retain and invest wealth which is currently exported to utility companies outside the community.