AKRON, Ohio, April 26, 2013 — Ohio is one of many states trying to scale back energy efficiency standards set for utility providers — even though these standards have lowered costs and reduced energy consumption by customers, according to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.
OMA, the state’s largest manufacturing trade group, is fighting against Republican-led efforts to weaken the laws that require utilities providers help customers use less electricity. The laws set a deadline of 2025 for electric utilities to help their customers reduce consumption by 22 percent. All but one state legislator approved the bill in 2008. The effects were dramatic and immediate; from 2008 to 2009 alone, Ohio electric utilities saved 530,062 megawatt-hours, 10 times the prior year’s savings.
First Energy Corp, Ohio’s influential utility company, is seeking to freeze the efficiency standards at 2012 levels, which mandate reductions of .8 percent. The energy giant tried to rally its larger industrial customers against the efficiency standards, claiming they were hurting businesses. While First Energy Corp’s profits have certainly dropped, industrial manufacturers and Ohio consumers alike are enjoying the lower utility bills resulting from greater energy efficiency.
OMA commissioned an analysis of how the standards were working, presenting the findings to the Senate Public Utilities Committee on Tuesday. The analysis found that the total savings for utilities customers have surpassed the cost of implementing the programs. If the efficiency mandate levels are kept intact, Ohioans could save roughly $5.7 billion by 2020. The group has also argued that energy efficiency competes with power plants, keeping power prices lower.
Source: cleantechnica.com, © Cleantechnica 2013
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