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Efficiency Programs Stretching Dollars for Ohio Electric Customers

PHOTO:Free programs offered by Ohio’s electric companies are helping low-income customers significantly reduce their utility bills.  Photo credit: Mary Kuhlman
PHOTO:Free programs offered by Ohio’s electric companies are helping low-income customers significantly reduce their utility bills. Photo credit: Mary Kuhlman
June 24, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Many Ohioans are stretching their dollars farther, thanks to energy efficiency programs in the state. The demand-side management programs offered by American Electric Power, First Energy, Dayton Power & Light, and Duke Energy Ohio help customers reduce their electric bills anywhere from 6 percent to 12 percent.

The executive director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, Dave Rinebolt, said they only install measures that are cost-effective.

"We can provide customers with techniques and approaches that can save them energy, not only by replacing appliances and light bulbs but by helping them manage their energy use better," Rinebolt said.

These programs are available free of charge to customers whose income is under 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In order to connect with a local agency that can provide the services, people can either call their utility or go to its website, or visit www.ohiopartners.org.

Rinebolt said they are particularly interested in hearing from the owners of affordable housing units.

"We can provide electric efficiency services to all the units in these buildings because all of their tenants are income qualified," he said.

These programs affect all customers' bills, he added.

"They reduce the need for electricity, and that drives down the market price," he explained. "Everyone benefits when efficiency services are provided to utility customers."

Utility companies in Ohio also offer other programs, including subsidized energy audits, reduced-price efficient light bulbs and appliance rebates - all of which can help residential customers increase the energy efficiency of their homes.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH