Poll: Ohio’s Small Businesses Support Clean-Energy Measures
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Small businesses are vital to any economy, and a new poll from the Small Business Majority (SBM) has found that many Ohio small business owners find clean-energy standards vital to their success. According to the survey, the majority of Ohio's small businesses said the state's clean-energy standards help small businesses, and nearly three-quarters believe government should play an important role in creating financial incentives that encourage people to take energy-efficiency measures.
Rhett Buttle, SBM vice president for external affairs, said these owners are really beginning to see the benefits of the state's clean-energy law.
"With the standard in place, they can benefit from rebate programs and energy audits - programs that allow them to focus on taking advantage of energy efficiencies - that allow them to really benefit by reducing costs, spurring innovation and creating business opportunities," Buttle said.
Buttle noted rising concerns about the future of Ohio's clean-energy laws after recent attacks on them, including Senate Bill 58. He said changes would weaken clean-energy standards and their environmental and economic benefits for small business owners and the state. A vote on the legislation was canceled last week and the bill is now stalled in committee.
CEO Michele Greenfield, Third Sun Solar, Athens, pointed out that the standards require energy companies to make efforts toward energy efficiency, which she said helps them save on costs and boosts business for others.
"We have installed solar power systems for residential customers and also some commercial entities around the state," Greenfield explained. "Then they in turn sell their solar credits to the utility company, which helps the utility company to comply with the advanced energy requirement."
The standards have created rising demand for energy efficiency and renewable-energy products, which has helped create jobs, Greenfield added.
"This is at the same time in the past few years where job growth overall has either been negative or flat in most industries, so we've been able to buck that trend and keep the jobs coming to Ohio that are created when we have requirements for renewable and energy efficiency," she explained.
The report is available at www.smallbusinessmajority.org.