How can energy efficiency programs save consumers money?

Both inflation and energy efficiency are in the news: Rising fuel prices make regular headlines and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio recently concluded five workshops exploring cost-saving energy waste reduction.

 PUCO’s focus is justified since using energy more efficiently can save consumers money, improve air quality, and create Ohio jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Will consumers get energy price relief via new energy efficiency programs to replace those recently dismantled by House Bill 6?

The clock is ticking, and energy prices are rising while it ticks and consumers wait.

In the meantime, the consumer benefits of energy efficiency are undeniable:

More:HB6 ends AEP Ohio energy efficiency programs

  • The cleanest and least expensive unit of power is the one we don’t have to use: an average of about 3 cents per kilowatt-hour  saved—cheaper than nearly all renewables and beating the cheapest traditional generation by 33 to 260% or more.
  • Properly designed energy efficiency programs create immediate savings that reduce monthly bills. A 2021 study by Gabel Associates projects Ohio’s net bill savings over a decade at $1.3 billion for a 0.5 percent annual energy waste reduction target, with $4.8 billion in additional environmental benefits.
  • Energy efficiency also creates more jobs per $1 million invested than fossil fuel generation (20 vs. 17), boosts the economy by shifting consumer spending to other goods and services (creating another 17 jobs per $1 million), improves new and existing buildings, and reduces emissions.
  • The need for energy efficiency will grow as the need for new power grows: Ohio recently attracted a large Intel chip manufacturing facility, and impending mass adoption of electric vehicles could increase household power use by as much as 40%.

Energy use inflation will lead to price inflation…

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