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Thu Apr 25, 2013, 04:46 PM

PD:Ohio manufacturers group wants energy-efficiency mandates left intact 4-24-2013

by John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- State lawmakers looking into changing laws that require Ohio's electric utilities help customers use less electricity are making a mistake, says the state's largest manufacturing trade group.

The Ohio Manufacturers' Association is now convinced that the efficiency mandates which lawmakers created in 2008 have already saved customers money and could save Ohio customers about $5.7 billion by 2020 -- if left intact.

The position pits the powerful trade group against a politically potent utility, FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, which has been battling for months to get the efficiency rules changed. And it also puts the manufacturers in a camp with environmentalists and other green groups that fought for the standards in the first place.
...
The association is the second manufacturing group to speak against any radical changes to the 5-year-old rules. Earlier this month, Wire-Net, a Cleveland-based trade group, wrote the utilities committee members to caution them against any abrupt changes.

"Sound energy policy is very important to our companies and to all manufacturers in Ohio. It needs to provide long-term assurance of the lowest cost of energy," Wire-Net stated in its letter.

"Support of energy efficiency plays a key role in energy policy because these projects lower our cost of production and insulate us from changes in rates. Along with renewables, efficiency should remain a part of Ohio's energy portfolio."

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/04/ohio_manufacturers_assn_wants.html

The other three Ohio publicly owned utilities are supporting the efficiency mandates. Only FE is dragging their feet.

Letter by Wire Net: http://media.cleveland.com/business_impact/other/Importance%20of%20Energy%20Efficiency%208%20Apr%202013-1.pdf

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