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Environment


Ohio manufacturers back energy efficiency rules
The Ohio Manufacturers Association commissioned a study that shows Ohio's energy efficiency rules are working
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
In The Region:

Environmentalists have an unlikely ally in their efforts to keep rules in place that require power companies help their customers use less electricity.

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports that Ohio manufacturers are backing the state’s energy efficiency standards.

St.clair - Efficiency standards debate

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Ohio is one of about two-dozen states that have laws that require utilities to help reduce the amount of power used.  They’re called efficiency standards, and Ohio’s passed in 2008. Now Akron-based FirstEnergy wants to see the energy efficiency rules thrown out. Spokesman Doug Colafella says the rules artificially suppress electricity demand and cost money to implement.

“We’ve got plenty of power available; we’ve got low power prices, but yet we’re charging customers every month for programs just to meet mandates.”

But the Ohio Manufacturers Association is backing the efficiency standards. Their study released last week showed the standards are working. Researcher and study author Neal Elliot says reducing demand is the cheapest form of energy savings.  

“We don’t have to make the investments. We don’t have to build the generating plants. We don’t have to buy the fuel.  We don’t have to make investments in upgrading transmission and distribution systems.”

Elliot says Ohio’s efficiency standards, if left in place, will lead to lower energy costs over time. The bill to remove them is currently before the Senate Public Utilities Committee.

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