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From Red Lined to the Triple Bottom Line

Serving nonprofits supporting Louisville's Black and Brown communities


Yellow areas were labeled "definitely declining" and red, "hazardous."  Loan applications for property in yellow areas were scrutinized warily, and outright rejected for property in red-lined areas. 


That lack of financing led to those neighborhoods' decline.  With home

In the 1940s, as in many US cities, Louisville was delineated, block by block, into color-coded maps.  Race very often was a factor in those assessments.  Lenders used the maps to decide whether to make loans to families seeking to buy or improve their homes. 

ownership being the top source of familial wealth, this pernicious practice imposed lasting damage on generations of lower-income and Black families.

The "triple bottom line" refers to the interconnected realms of sustainability:  environmental, economic and social.  It's a more complete way to evaluate the true impacts of a policy, program or project.

LCAN is a small group.  After considering how we could promote racial equity most effectively, we created this Urban Energy Partnership.  We hope it will bridge a bit of the gap created by red-lining and improve our partners' Triple Bottom Lines.


LCAN is soliciting applications from nonprofits that serve primarily Louisville's Black and Brown communities and that own their facilities or have a long-term lease.  Based on where we can be most effective, we will choose six-eight applicants for the following services at no cost to them:

  1. Utility bill analysis to identify billing errors and insightful usage patterns and bench-marking with comparable facilities

  2. On-site energy assessment of the organization's facilities

  3. Recommendations for cutting carbon and costs, while improving comfort

  4. Assistance with raising implementation funds to the extent feasible

  5. Workshops to assure operational practices sustain reductions

  6. Rebate paperwork completed and submitted on time

The UEP's "soft start," funded by Ky. Interfaith Power & Light, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Sociable Weaver Foundation and LCAN member Roger Ohlman, invested into eight nonprofits facilities with these benefits:

  • An acre of interior space upgraded to LED lighting or smart thermostats

  • Total annual reduction in electricity use equivalent to the current use of over 42 typical Louisville homes

  • Total annual savings of $5,600+ by seven clients; an eighth has halved its LG&E bills!

  • Over 44 US tons of greenhouse gas emissions prevented annually

Listen to this radio report on the UEP soft start from WFPL.

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