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New Report: Energy Waste Reduction Could Save Billions, Create Thousands of Jobs

Columbus, Ohio — Greater investment in energy waste reduction could create an economic windfall of billions for Ohio, according to a new major study, Estimating the Benefits of Energy Waste Reduction in Ohio.

The study was conducted by Gabel Associates, a leading energy research firm, and released today by the Ceres, E2, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Hospital Association, and the Ohio Environmental Council.

Through the immediate investment in energy waste reduction initiatives, at a level of 1.5% annual energy savings:

  • Ohio would add $3.6 billion to its economy, create tens of thousands of jobs, and realize $14.2 billion in public health benefits by preventing the emission of toxic air pollution that sickens Ohioans and ups the state’s health care costs.
  • Ohio electricity customers would save $9 billion on their electric bills-money that they could redirect into the local economy to boost the state’s businesses and stores.
  • Ohio electric utilities would save $5.3 billion through the displacement of costly, unnecessary infrastructure that would otherwise be paid for by utility customers on their energy bills.

These benefits would be realized by ramping up investments in energy-saving programs that help Ohio residents and businesses upgrade their buildings, improve manufacturing production lines, install new sensors and controls, and otherwise cut energy waste.

Ohio’s energy waste reduction programs were in place for a decade until House Bill 6 was passed in 2019 and eliminated them. 

At a press conference today announcing the report’s release, Ohio leaders shared the following statements:

Nolan Rutschilling, Energy Program Director of the Ohio Hospital Association: “Energy waste reduction provides resiliency and ultimately saves lives. It benefits hospitals and patients, and is even more critical as we navigate the pandemic.”

Chris Reed, Executive Director of Business, Reynoldsburg City Schools: “Energy waste reduction programs benefit Ohio’s children, save taxpayer money, and provide schools with more money to invest in education.”

Miranda Leppla, Vice President of Energy of the Ohio Environmental Council: “Ohioans deserve access to energy waste reduction programs because they benefit our economy and our pocketbooks, they reduce pollution which leads to better health outcomes, and they create local jobs. This new report underscores why Ohio must act now to restore some type of energy waste reduction programming to ensure our residents and businesses are receiving the many benefits they provide.”

Deana Dennis, Senior Manager of State Policy, Ceres, a national sustainability nonprofit working with more than four dozen businesses urging a full repeal of HB 6: “Energy waste reduction programs can be a powerful tool for local economic development and job creation because energy efficiency jobs cannot be outsourced. Ohio businesses recognize the economic benefits of energy waste reduction and want to see the state’s energy efficiency programs restored. As this study shows, doing so would benefit all Ohioans.”

Gary Swanson, CEO of Energy Management Solutions, an energy efficiency service provider that had to cut staff, cut pay, and close down an office in New Albany because of HB 6: “In the midst of a very difficult economic crisis and ongoing pandemic, we cannot afford to lose more of the good paying jobs that provide so many benefits for Ohioans.”

The report can be found at a new website housing information and resources about why energy waste reduction programs are critical for Ohioans’ health, wallets, and economy: