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Ohio businesses urge House passage of energy efficiency bill to restore jobs and savings in state


Ceres joins businesses with major operations in Ohio to urge the state House of Representatives to approve HB 79 to launch new energy efficiency programs that will restore jobs and utility bill savings.

The bipartisan legislation would allow utilities to implement voluntary energy efficiency programs that reduce energy waste, save customers money, support grid reliability, cut pollution, and create jobs. It has the strong support of a coalition of Midwest manufacturers, employers, and trade associations organized by Ceres.

“In a period of highly volatile energy markets, Ohio energy consumers deserve access to programs that help reduce their energy bills,” said Mel Mackin, interim director of state policy, Ceres. “We urge the Ohio House to take action by passing HB 79 to allow utilities to offer voluntary energy efficiency programs that will benefit Ohio households, businesses, and the economy.”

“At A.O. Smith, we know that high-efficiency products offer consumers access to a critical resource that saves them money, and we strive to ensure that our products are accessible and affordable for all. We support efforts to improve efficiency at the state level to bring those same benefits to the entire economy,” said Joshua C. Greene, vice president for government, regulatory, and industry affairs at A. O. Smith. “We urge Ohio lawmakers to take advantage of the opportunity this spring to restore energy efficiency programs that reduce waste, increase savings, and support households and businesses across the state.”

“Energy efficiency programs ensure that we at Nestlé are not using any more electricity than we need to — which is crucial to both our financial performance and to meeting our pollution goals,” said Meg Villarreal, director of policy and government relations, Nestlé. “We applaud lawmakers for working toward a bipartisan consensus to reopen these important programs in Ohio, and urge the House of Representatives to take action toward restoring important efficiency initiatives in the state soon.” 

Major Ohio companies, industry groups, and energy consumers have been rallying in support of efficiency policies since a controversial 2019 law called HB 6 rescinded the state’s energy efficiency programs. 

Earlier this year, nine large companies and trade groups — A.O. Smith Corp., Energy Management Solutions Inc., Green Energy Ohio, JLL, National Association of Energy Service Companies, Nestlé, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association, Trane Technologies, and Uplight — sent a letter to lawmakers urging the bill’s adoption. 

“All Ohio consumers and businesses profit when we reduce energy waste — whether or not they participate directly in energy-saving programs. Policies that keep energy costs low and predictable over the long-term are a major consideration for our companies as we make investments,” they said in the letter. “Accordingly, we support comprehensive, cost-effective energy saving programs that lower bills for everyone" 

Although HB 79 would not fully restore prior efficiency programs, it would explicitly allow utilities to establish voluntary programs designed to reduce energy waste by 0.5% annually. Experts say such programs would help Ohioans save billions of dollars in electricity costs while improving public health through reduced pollution. 

Ceres is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more just, and sustainable world. United under a shared vision, our powerful networks of investors and companies are proving sustainability is the bottom line — changing markets and sectors from the inside out. For more information, visit

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