Energy efficiency was projected to cut electric consumption, power companies told the state
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ohio’s electric companies were on course to help their customers cut overall power use by as much as 33 percent in coming years before lawmakers froze state energy efficiency mandates.
Filed and forgotten at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the analyses and projections were drawn up by FirstEnergy, AEP Ohio, Duke Energy and Dayton Power & Light.
The 33 percent savings figure was based on the assumption that costs would not stand in the way of higher efficiency. But a more conservative estimate, looking only at solutions deemed to be cost effective, still put potential savings at 24 percent.
Despite those internal estimates of cost-effective savings, the industry lobbied against the efficiency mandates for years. Last year year, lawmakers led by Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, froze the program; Seitz said it was supported by “enviro-socialists.”
Now, a nationally recognized group that advocates energy efficiency has taken another look at the utility reports in the PUCO’s files.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, Wednesday issued its own report, a white paper making the case for a return of the state standards, based on those utility projections.
The four companies were asked to figure out how much power their efficiency programs could help customers save over 10 to 20 years.