It is with heavy hearts that the Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy (OPAE) Board and Staff is sharing the sudden death of our executive director, Dave Rinebolt. He passed away Thursday morning at his home in Florida. Dave was a fabulous friend and leader to many of us.

Dave joined OPAE as its initial Director in 1998, realizing that energy assistance programs and funding required its own advocacy on behalf of community action organizations. In his second run as OPAE’s executive director, Dave led the organization through one of the worst periods of our time – the COVID pandemic. He fought hard to make sure underserved Ohioans would not be ignored, lobbying the legislature to put moratoriums on utility bills and rent. Coming out of the pandemic, Dave and the team were again successful in convincing the legislature to roll over unspent energy assistance dollars from 2020 into 2021, an important win that will bring much relief to underserved communities.

Dave dedicated his life to helping low-income people. He found the work we do every day to be more satisfying than personal wealth. And his accomplishments and compassion were duly recognized in 2019 when he was awarded the NEUAC Sister Pat Kelley Achievement Award for personal achievement in furthering the organization’s objectives of increasing public awareness of low-income energy problems, advancing energy assistance policy, and promoting charitable energy assistance.

A significant void is now left in our hearts and minds. Let us fill the void by dedicating the good work we do to Dave’s legacy.

Thank you, Dave, for everything you have done for us and for communities across Ohio.

May his memory forever be a blessing.

Funeral and memorial arrangements are still being planned. We will communicate details as they become available.