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Plan Calls for “Jump Start” of Ohio’s Power Grid

August 24, 2007

In Ohio, a coalition of nonprofit groups is working to gather interest for a new electrical utility plan that would promote efficiency and conservation while keeping costs down for consumers. The proposal would require utilities to work with the state to keep costs down for consumers, especially low-income Ohioans who pay as much as 30 percent of their income for energy bills. Dave Rinebolt with Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy says the state’s experiment with utility deregulation has failed and is resulting in higher prices.

"Since we deregulated our utilities, the competitive market has not emerged. The monopolies, the utilities, have been able to charge monopoly prices."

Rinebolt says efficiency and conservation will help save consumers money and so will investments in alternative energy sources, including wind, solar, and biofuels.

"We believe that there are tremendous opportunities in Ohio to provide affordable rates for customers by using energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies."

The plan would require annual increases in energy efficiency, create sales tax incentives for energy efficient appliances, and create an "Ohio Energy Authority" to invest in energy production and conservation.

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - OH