Ohio Energy Saving Programs
When Ohio law makers passed House Bill 6, the law gutted funding for utility programs to help customers save energy. It also stopped all such programs in late 2020. This ended rebates for things like smart thermostats, energy saving appliances, and insulation updates to homes. But last year, law makers repealed HB 6. Now, state law makers are trying to bring energy efficiency incentives back to Ohio.
Are Any Energy Efficiency Programs Currently Available?
HB6 ended the state’s requirement for customers to pay for energy saving programs. But, the law does allow utilities to set up energy saving programs by themselves. However, because they cannot pass program costs to their customers the law makes company shareholders to pay. Even though the assembly repealed most of the law last year, this part of HB6 remains in force. Therefore, most utilities continue to avoid offering such programs. However, recently the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the AES Ohio (formerly DPL) program. This program provides $1.4 million in smart thermostat rebates and $900,000 in weatherizing rebates for low and middle-income households.
What is House Bill 389?
The new proposed HB389 sets guidelines for these kinds of energy saving programs. These programs would cost customers $1.50 per month but only if they choose to participate. Customers can opt-out of utility programs if they wish. And PUCO must approve all such utility programs before they go into effect.
Though popular, HB389 is still very new to the Ohio House floor. So, it’s still too early say what will be in its final form. So far, the Ohio Environmental Council, the Environmental Law and Policy Center support the bill. AEP, Duke Energy, and AES also support the bill. Energy Harbor (formerly First Energy), once the subject of investigations connected with HB6 last year, has not yet thrown its support behind the bill.
Find Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Bill
Hopefully, utilities will begin offering their own energy rebate programs to help their customers save money. But for now, customers are on their own. One great way to start cutting your monthly energy bills is to shop for a fixed electric plan with lower rates.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for ways to save more energy in your home, check out these tips. Also stay tuned for future updates on saving energy, rates, and other resources at www.ohenergyratings.com.