Energy Efficiency Works for Ohio
by Ryan Hodum
On Wednesday, February 6th, the Energy Future Coalition and Advanced Energy Economy Ohio held a strategy discussion in Cleveland, Ohio for local business leaders on opportunities to support state-level energy efficiency policy measures. Discussions focused on opportunities over the next six months to support the state Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS), in addition to other energy efficiency policies of interest, including opportunities for on-bill financing and Energy Savings Performance Contracting. We were hosted by the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association of Cleveland and the Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 33 JATC Training Center, who offered a tour of their fantastic training facility for all participants following our discussion. Our meeting included sheet metal contractors, mechanical contractors, product manufacturers, building owners and local chamber of commerce executives.
The decision to focus on the state EERS is in large part due to a recent effort led by State Senator William Seitz, Chairman of the Senate Public Utilities Commission, to review the cost effectiveness of the standard and to potentially abolish the standard. The groups around the table recounted every manner in which the state EERS has been an effective policy that creates jobs for contractors, saves Ohioans money and establishes the long-term demand for energy efficiency in the state. Participants identified several opportunities for Ohio business leaders to support state energy efficiency policies, such as the EERS: 1) Reach out to other Ohio business leaders to educate them; 2) Share energy efficiency success stories, to put a face on energy and cost savings for consumers and businesses; 3) Host site visits with policymakers and coalition partners; 4) Participate in upcoming public hearings as expert panelists; and 5) Join Advanced Energy Economy Ohio as part of a broad coalition of business leaders speaking with a unified voice.
- Established in 2008 with near unanimous support by the Ohio legislature
- Requires electric utilities to reduce overall consumption by 22.5% by 2025
- Under the law, energy efficiency programs must save customers more money than they cost. To date, for every dollar invested in these programs, Ohioans have saved three dollars.
- The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy projects that the law will save Ohio consumers $19 billion if implemented through 2025 and create 32,300 jobs.
- Ohio is home to a robust energy efficiency industry with almost 10,000 Ohioans employed and over 400 businesses.
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