Case study

Ohio’s First African American Net Zero Neighborhood: American Addition

UPDATED: 10/04/2023


Project Name: Ohio’s First African American Net Zero Neighborhood: American Addition

Project Leader(s): IMPACT Community Action

Partner(s): Sustainable Columbus, Homeport, AEP Ohio, IMPACT Community Advocate Lisa Ghee Brown, City Commissioner Asmara Williams

Stage of Completion: In-progress. Project planning and development began in Spring 2023. 

Construction Type: Existing building

Building Type: Mostly single-family

Total Number of Units Targeted: 60

Total Number of Units Completed: Implementation will not start until 2024. Community engagement and workforce development are the priority for 2023.

Tenant Structure: Mostly owner-occupied

Target Audience: American Addition Neighborhood homeowner. 

Electrification Project Scope

Full/Partial Electrification: Full

Existing Heating Fuel Type: Natural gas

End Uses Electrified: Space heating and cooling, water heating, cooking appliances, clothes drying appliances

Specific electric appliances installed: The electric appliances that will be installed are dependent on the community’s decision because this is a community ownership model project. IMPACT anticipates potential appliances may include energy star rated appliances including heat pumps, solar (onsite or community), potentially heat pump water heaters, electric stoves, and electric washer and dryers.


Total Project Funding: $4M-$6M (estimate) through multiple funding sources

  • Department of Energy Buildings UP Prize - $400,000

  • Department of Energy WAP E&I - $2M - for American Addition

  • SERC funding - $2M - for American Addition and 7.30 census tract. 

  • City Funding - $1.6M - for weatherization that is to be focused in American Addition and 7.30 census tract. 

Additional funding sources used in the entire Columbus area. These sources can apply to this project to fill in project funding gaps or support certain elements of the project

  • IMPACT Home Weatherization Assistance Program – $1.5M per year weatherization and some health and safety repairs (roof repair) 

  • BIL HWAP Program – $6.2M until 2025 

  • HWAP enhancement provided by the State of OH (can replace knob and tube electrical in the house) - $500,000/year

  • HWAP readiness funds – address funds for homes that would have to be deferred (pest infestation, hoarding, windows, etc.) - $50,000/year

  • City of Columbus – $1.5M per year for the EMPOWERED! Program

  • Philanthropic funding – over $125,000 to hire community advocates

Amount or % of Project Cost Covered per unit: 100% for homeowners with an income up to 300% of the federal poverty limit 

Source of Funding: Department of Energy, SERC, City of Columbus, State of Ohio, philanthropic funders

More information

Motivation for electrification: The project is intended to support BIPOC, low-income community members by reducing energy burden. The project will also demonstrate a successful community ownership model, where community members play a decision-making role in the project design. The project also supports the Justice40 Initiative. The goal is to reduce average resident annual electric consumption by 7% for an average cost-savings of $350 per year. 

Additional Measures Implemented: Insulation upgrades, air sealing technology, smart thermostat installation, structural and home repairs, and either residential or community solar. 

Workforce Development/Green Jobs Component: IMPACT administers the City funded Empowered! clean energy workforce development program. Empowered! provides training and on-the-job experience for careers in the clean-energy sector for participants from communities of color and women in Opportunity neighborhoods in Columbus. IMPACT anticipates providing American Addition residents with the opportunity to work and train on the Net Zero Neighborhood project. Workforce training includes green career and construction training. IMPACT’s other workforce development programs provide NABCEP certification for solar installation, NCCER carpentry credential, and partner with AEP for their women in linework program. 

Next steps:

  • Community Plan Creation (Sep - Nov 2023 / approval by Jan 2024)

  • Pre-weatherization (Now - Feb. 2024)

  • Goal to have 7 homes completed by Feb. 2024

  • NEAT Energy Audit/Weatherization (Now - Feb. 2024)

  • Weatherization 

  • Energy Retrofits (June 2024)

  • EMPOWERED! graduates (Now - Aug. 2024)

  • Working in the community by the end of 2024


Links to additional resources:

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