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Report: Renewable energy laws reduce consumption

A new research report by Environment Ohio, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group in Columbus, says Ohio’s renewable energy laws have tuned up the state’s energy consumption and savings for consumers.

Between January 2009 when the state’s renewable energy law kicked in and December 2012, the state has cut five million megawatt-hours of cumulative energy consumption - more than enough electricity to power Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton for a year, the report said.

It has reduced peak electricity demand by 1,583 megawatts – the equivalent capacity of Ohio’s sixth-largest power plant. Also, 313 megawatts of wind power and 25 megawatts of solar energy were added statewide in 2012, which could produce more power than Dayton households use in a year.

“The clean energy law is getting results for the Buckeye State,” Christian Adams, Environment Ohio State Associate, said. “Four years in, Ohio’s clean energy law is reducing pollution, cutting our dependence on coal and gas, creating jobs, and saving Ohioans money.”

Environment Ohio said the law has attracted business to the state like Iberdrola Renewables, a developer of the Blue Creek Wind Farm – a 304 MW project that came online in June 2012. It said that in 2012, for the first time since the law came into effect, FirstEnergy, Duke Energy, Dayton Power & Light and American Electric Power met the law’s energy efficiency, peak demand reduction and renewable energy requirements.

The report said that specific programs fostered by the law include DP&L’s Lighting Program that distributed more than 1.7 million high-efficiency lighting fixtures to customers and saved enough energy to power more than 6,759 Ohio homes for a year at a cost of 3.8 cents per kilowatt-hour – one third the retail cost of electricity in Ohio.

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