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Government and Politics

Changes in Ohio's energy efficiency law are dead but could resurface
A new legislature will have to take office in January before any changes can occur

Bill Cohen

Environmental activists and consumer advocates are breathing a sigh of relief. Ohio lawmakers apparently are notgoing to change the state’s energy efficiency program during the last days of the current legislative session. The program requires electric companies to lower overall power usage by giving money to people and businesses that buy energy-saving appliances and equipment. To fund the program, all electricity customers pay a surcharge on their monthly electric bills. The Northern Ohio utility giant, First Energy, has been pushing legislators to review the program with an eye toward dropping it, but spokesman Doug Colafella concedes no changes will happen, at least until a new legislature takes office in January.

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Senate President Tom Niehaus won’t be returning to the legislature in January, but he says he agrees with the utility that Ohio’s energy landscape has changed a lot since the efficiency program began 4 years…so it should be reviewed to see if it’s still needed.

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