Green Roof Loans
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Office of Environmental Quality have created the first Green Roof Loan Program of its kind in Ohio.
The Ohio EPA has made $5,000,000 available for linked-deposit, below-market-rate loans to install green vegetative roofs within the service area of MSD.
These can be installed on residential, commercial and/or industrial buildings.
Green roofs have wonderful benefits and have been utilized in Europe for many years to address various climate and aesthetic issues. They absorb rain water, help purify the air and provide additional green space in highly developed areas, especially within urban cores.
Reducing Sewer Overflows
In Cincinnati, there is a problem with storm water run-off, as reflected in combined and sanitary sewer overflows. Currently, during periods of heavy rain, the existing sewer systems are pushed well beyond capacity. This causes sewage and storm water overflow into local homes, streets, creeks and rivers, and negatively affects structures, aquatic communities, recreational use and water quality. Depending on the weather conditions, this can happen as many as 105 times each year, resulting in 14.4 billion gallons of overflow annually.
Green roofs help lessen sewer overflows by providing an absorbent surface that retains rainwater, which means there's less stormwater runoff going into the sewers.
Improving Air Quality
There are important benefits for air quality, too: Green roofs provide moisture and coolness, capture carbon dioxide and other pollutants, produce oxygen, and overall, help purify the air.
Residents and businesses with green roofs can also see a reduction in energy costs. Due to their increased insulation and cooling properties, green roofs decrease the amount of air conditioning required within the building.
This is of particular importance in Cincinnati, where summers are hot and humid, and air quality can be poor due to pollution. The advantages are part of a cycle: By using less air conditioning, residents and businesses use less energy, and then reduce the amount of green house gasses generated. This improves the air quality for the city as a whole and saves money on energy bills.