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Ohio’s Clean Energy Program Saves Customers Huge

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1.Efficiency Law Creates Jobs and Increases Renewable Electricity Generation
Photo credit: Tom Hart / Flickr

In 2008, the initial version of Senate Bill 221 (SB 221) was passed creating Ohio’s Clean Energy Law. This law was improved and reaffirmed in 2012. Ohio’s Clean Energy Law sets the provisions in relation to renewable energy and energy efficiency for the four investor owned utilities in the state. This law states that by 2025, investor owned utilities are required to use 25 percent alternative energy.

Efficiency Law Creates Jobs and Increases Renewable Electricity Generation

According to a report from Ohio State University, from 2008 to 2012 the efficiency law created more than 3,000 jobs. Ratepayers have saved 1.4 percent on their electric bills, and electricity demand is down by nearly 3 percent since 2008. Total renewable electricity generation has also increased significantly, reaching more than 60 percent.

Impressive Energy Savings and Reduced Peak Demand

According to Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center, to date, Ohio’s Clean Energy Law has allowed for the accumulation of 5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in energy savings. This is more power than is used by Dayton, Cleveland and Cincinnati households in any given year. This excess energy has also reduced the state’s peak electricity demand by nearly 3 percent.

Whereas in 2007, Ohio only had 9 MW of solar energy and wind power combined; an October 2013 report from Environment Ohio reveals that the state has 95 MW of solar energy and 429 MV of wind power, an increase of nearly 60-fold.

Ohio Advanced Energy Economy – Monetary Savings for Ohio Residents

The Ohio Advanced Energy Economy analyzed reports from the Public Utility Commission of Ohio. These reports indicate that the standards helped Ohio residents save more than $1 billion from 2009 through 2013, with a cost of approximately $460 million. Ted Ford, who is the president and CEO of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, states that with the utility companies’ own reports signifying that Ohio customers are saving two dollars for every dollar being spent on energy efficiency programs, Ohio lawmakers wanting to do away with this practice defies logic.

Random Telephone Survey of 600 Ohioans Who are Eligible to Vote

A survey conducted by the polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (aka FM3) shows that:

  • Nearly 90 percent support the mandated utility efficiency programs.
  • More than 70 percent prefer renewable energy as opposed to traditional power plants.
  • Sixty-six percent of voters state that they will most likely support those legislative candidates who are in favor of renewable energy instead of those who emphasize the continuation of the traditional nuclear and coal-fired power plants.

Senate Bill 310 Requests a Freeze

Ohio’s Clean Energy Law also stipulates that half of the 25 percent of alternative energy sold by a utility company must be from renewable sources like hydropower and wind. This law requires utility companies to meet yearly benchmarks in relation to renewable energy and efficiency; however, the Ohio Senate is proposing a new bill. Senate Bill 310 (SB 310) requests a freeze be placed on Ohio’s energy standards, halting them at the current 2014 levels. Proponents of SB 310 argue that Ohio’s energy landscape is being altered due to fracking and that SB 221 is too costly, which will eventually cause an increase in consumers’ utility bills.

Poll Results Remain Consistent

According to Cleveland News, David Metz, who is a principal in the FM3 polling firm, said that the findings of the poll shows where Ohioans stand in reference to the energy policy and debates currently in Ohio’s legislature. Metz continued stating that the results of this most recent poll are consistent with those polls done in Ohio and other states across the nation.

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