The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) has been a force behind environmental policy in Ohio for over 50 years. The OEC has a long-standing commitment to energy efficiency and has worked to educate decision makers—including state legislators, Governor’s office, PUCO staff and local officials—on the economic significance of the energy efficiency industry and the importance of policies that support the industry’s vitality. OEC has intervened in countless utility regulatory processes, served as a statewide leader on lifting up the value of energy efficiency (including workforce development) and serves as the in-state expert on clean energy.
In recent years, legislation harmful to energy efficiency has been introduced annually and the OEC has taken a leading role to support clean energy and energy efficiency. In 2019, House Bill 6 was introduced and gained momentum under the new DeWine Administration. The OEC stepped up to help to coordinate the preparation of critical research and analysis, as well as testimony, that detailed the benefits of energy efficiency in how it positively impacts Ohio utility customers and the larger state economy. Unfortunately, HB 6 passed into law, effectively ending energy efficiency programs in Ohio. However, with current legal issues around the passing of the law, there is immediate debate on potential to repeal HB 6 and replace with legislation that could reinstate energy efficiency in some form. We believe that much of this change in conversation can be attributed to OEC’s groundwork with partners over the past decade and their continued leadership in navigating the political landscape.