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EFC Hosts Strategy Dicussion with Business Leaders in Ohio

Submitted by EFC Team on September 10th, 2012

On Tuesday, August 28th, the Energy Future Coalition (EFC) and Advanced Energy Economy Ohio (AEE OH) co-hosted a two-hour strategy discussion on energy efficiency policy opportunities in Ohio. Participants received updates on state energy efficiency legislation and pending utility rules and discussed opportunities for further collaboration, including on-bill financing and Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPCs).
Steve Caminati, Vice President of Public Affairs at Advanced Energy Economy Ohio shared an update on Senate Bill 315, the comprehensive state energy plan recently signed by Governor Kasich to improve Ohio’s manufacturing competitiveness. AEE OH was integral to policy negotiations over SB 315 to ensure that Combined Heat and Power be included in the state Energy Efficiency Resource Standard and Waste Energy Recovery be included as part of the state Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Businesses were also addressed by Nolan Moser, an attorney with Williams Allwein & Moser, LLC on pending Public Utilities Commission of Ohio rules, and the impact on energy efficiency for the state (click here to view his presentation). The Commission is currently reviewing the energy efficiency portfolio plan for FirstEnergy, which will spend a minimum of $120 million on energy efficiency over three years. The Commission is expected to review an energy efficiency plan for Dayton Power & Light in the spring. These plans are relevant because they will determine how energy efficiency is bid into the wholesale electricity market – a process that recognizes energy efficiency as a financially rewarded source of power in the PJM Interconnection. Discussion focused on whether customers prefer an opt-in or opt-out system for bidding in energy efficiency to the capacity market.
Strategic discussions focused on emerging policy opportunities including on-bill financing and Energy Savings Performance Contracting.
  • On-bill financing is designed to reduce first-cost barriers to energy efficiency upgrades and allows customers to pay back the cost of their energy efficiency improvements with the money saved on their monthly utility bills.  Governor Kasich has expressed interest in establishing on-bill financing opportunities in Ohio.  AEE OH seeks to work with Ohio utilities to establish an on-bill financing pilot program for Commercial & Industrial customers.
  • Don Gilligan, President of the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO), reported that Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPCs) has invested hundreds of millions of dollars of private capital in Ohio public facilities, nearly $1 billion in projects since 1985.  To date, the state has performed comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits in only 10% of its buildings; the current pace is insufficient to meet the mandate of 20% savings in state facilities by 2014.  AEE OH seeks to work with NAESCO members and other business leaders in Ohio to halt the waste of energy in state facilities and save taxpayer dollars by accelerating ESPCs.

Opportunities for further collaboration include an invitation for companies to participate in the AEE OH Energy Efficiency Task Force as well as an invitation to register for the upcoming Advanced Energy B2B Conference & Expo, scheduled for October 30-31 in Columbus (http://www.advancedenergyexpo.com/).

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