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More effective efficiency

We’ve all seen how energy-efficient products claim that all we need to do is spend a little now “and it will pay for itself.”

The idea, of course, is a that one-time expense can, indeed, reduce expenses over the long term.

But not everyone can afford that one-time expense.

Fortunately, Ohio lawmakers seem to have recognized that as they altered the goal for public utilities to reduce energy waste from a previous 2% requirement to 0.5% per year, as lawmakers work to restart energy efficiency programs in the state.

Under the proposal, Ohio power companies could once again offer energy efficiency programs such as smart thermostats or appliance rebates, with the cost covered by customers. The bill has the backing of the Ohio Environmental Council and state investor-owned utilities including American Electric Power, which supplies electricity to many parts of our region.

“They all know the cheapest, cleanest kilowatt of energy is the kilowatt not used at all,” co-sponsor Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus, said.

That may be true, and there is nothing stopping consumers who are able from choosing to go all out in their effort to be more efficient in their energy consumption. Options such as LED light bulbs and fixtures, solar panels and new appliances are readily available from a variety of retailers.

But it is good to see lawmakers taking a more common-sense approach as they understand that most Ohioans will need to take smaller steps in that direction.

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