Legal Victories

DP&L, Duke Energy work with OEC  to Secure Huge Energy Savings

Currently the General Assembly is debating Senate Bill 58 and whether to gut the state’s landmark energy efficiency and clean energy law.  However, just in the span of a month, two of the state’s regulated electric utilities, Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) and Duke Energy, worked with OEC and others to settle on new three-year energy efficiency plans with the Public Utilities Commission – proving that Ohio’s clean energy law is alive and well. These plans are poised to save electricity customers in Southwest Ohio millions of dollars, cut wasted energy, and greatly reduce the need to burn more fossil fuels.

After months of negotiation with the utility, residential, and business interests, OEC and its colleague environmental groups secured a number cost-cutting and energy saving programs including:

  • energy efficient heating and cooling systems;
  • discounts on the new generation of LED lighting;
  • “cool roof” components to keep buildings cooler in summer by installing light-colored roofs that reflect light; and
  • improving energy efficiency in the information technology sector.

For OEC, one of the most significant provision of these stipulations will be first-of-its-kind programs for incentivizing combined heat and power (CHP) systems (also known as cogeneration). Combined Heat & Power technologies, when implemented on-site or near industrial or commercial facilities, produce electricity and recycle the heat energy from the on-site electric generation process simultaneously to meet both power and heating/cooling needs, all from a single source of energy.

Duke's CHP plan will allow big industrial sites to work with the utility to develop specific incentive arrangements to develop CHP projects in the Cincinnati area.  DP&L, on the other hand, will reserve $250,000 toward a pilot program for customer incentive payments for CHP, and work with OEC in 2014 to develop a full program for capturing CHP savings.

In 2011, 50 sites across Ohio were operating CHP systems with a combined generating capacity of 766.6 megawatts (MW). However, the most current United States Department of Energy estimate for Ohio's technical potential is approximately 9,800 MW. These two utility programs will provide a needed jump start for the state to meet this potential, and take a large bite out of Ohio's fossil fuel consumption.

The Tale of the Tape: According to Environmental Law & Policy Center's calculations, the combination of these two plans will save enough energy to power 95,500 homes for a year and save customers $84.5 million over the next three years.

OEC Applauds State's Move to Save Rare Wetlands

The Ohio Environmental Council is applauding the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) decision this week to terminate its contract with a private developer to swap a rare, forested, urban wetland for a larger but ecologically inferior tract of land.

In February of this year it appeared that finding a solution outside of the courtroom was not feasible so OEC's Ohio Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit sought to stop the proposed land swap and ensure the Sawmill Wetlands would not face similar threats in the future.

The OEC contended that the proposed “land swap” violated the requirement that the Sawmill Wetlands be permanently preserved and the state’s public trust obligations. Read more.

OEC Helps Farmers & Wetlands in Same Case

Wetlands are vital to Ohio's clean water. They filter pollution, prevent flooding, and are home to hundreds of sensitive species like fairy shrimp, frogs, salamanders, turtles, bald eagles, and more!

Shockingly, Ohio's Department of Natural Resources reports that we have lost more than 90% of our natural wetlands - down from 5 million acres to just 400,000 today.

Those that remain are under constant threat from development and pollution. That's why the OEC is fighting to save every remaining acre. And that's just what we did with John and Marilyn Saveson of Franklin County. Read the full story.