City joins chorus of clean energy supporters as energy policy debated at the statehouse
CINCINNATI –Environment Ohio and business leaders joined Cincinnati Councilmember Chris Seelbach to announce the introduction of a city resolution in support of Ohio’s energy efficiency standard today. Speaking alongside state environmental groups and business leaders, Councilman Seelbach cited energy efficiency’s environmental and consumer benefits to the city and urged state lawmakers to protect Ohio’s commitments to clean energy. The resolution adds Cincinnati’s voice to a growing chorus of municipalities from around Ohio urging state lawmakers to honor Ohio’s commitment to clean energy under its Clean Energy Law. The resolution passed unanimously in council.
Christian Adams, Clean Energy Associate with Environment Ohio applauded the city for showing leadership on state energy policy and urged statehouse lawmakers to take note. “From efficiency to solar, Cincinnati a state leader on clean energy – and it’s proving to be a win-win-win for consumers, the environment, and the economy. If state lawmakers want to change our clean energy law, they should follow Cincinnati’s lead and double-down on wind, solar, and energy efficiency.”
“Cincinnati has made great strides in energy efficiency by seeking cost-savings while boosting our city’s green image,” said Councilmember Seelbach. “Energy efficiency is helping Cincinnati support a double bottom line of environmental and economic sustainability, and we endorse full implementation of our state efficiency law.” The City of Cincinnati is saving over $1 million a year on energy bills thanks to the law’s efficiency programs, including upgrades and weatherization projects.
In addition to bringing down bills and reducing pollution, efficiency investments is supporting local job growth. “Investment in Energy Efficiency is investment in our local economy,” said Andy Holzhauser, Chief Executive Officer for the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance. “This investment not only reduces energy consumption; it stimulates economic growth by putting disposable income back into property owners’ wallets and by creating new green jobs in our community.” GCEA facilitates energy efficiency investments by homeowners, non-profits, and commercial building owners throughout the greater Cincinnati area.
Julie Tolliver – President/CEO of Energy Fitness for Homes and board member of Cincinnati’s Efficiency First chapter, also testified to the importance of state energy policy to her work, referencing 20 years of experience helping Cincinnati homeowners perform efficiency upgrades.
The Cincinnati resolution arrives as Hamilton County lawmaker and Senate Public Utilities Chairman Bill Seitz has suggested that his committee will soon take up a full review of Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable energy standards. Last November, Akron-based FirstEnergy, Ohio’s largest electric utility and one of its largest polluters, lobbied unsuccessfully to freeze statewide efficiency requirements for utilities and advocates expect the utility to push a similar measure this spring.