- Ohio utilities have traditionally funded low-income weatherization programs to help low income families afford their utility bills.
- Weatherization is a permanent solution to energy affordability and is targeted to the most vulnerable families (those with elderly, disabled or children).
- The weatherization programs were incorporated into larger utility energy efficiency portfolios after the passage of SB 221 in 2009. The programs are paid for by an energy efficiency charge or ‘rider’ on customers’ bills.
- 10,000 low income households, on average, are weatherized annually as a result of programs overseen by electric utilities.
- $15 to $20 million is spent annually for utility weatherization.
- Weatherization results in significant levels of cost-effective energy savings.
- + 500 Ohio jobs depend on the funding of weatherization program.
- House Bill 6 eliminates requirements of current law that customers pay for utility energy efficiency portfolios through a charge on their bills.
- Ohio’s low-income weatherization programs, in operation since the 1980’s, long before efficiency mandates, are caught up in this change and will cease to exist.
- $15-20 Million in Cuts to Low Income Programs. House Bill 6 will immediately result in the elimination of the $15-$20 million currently funding low income energy efficiency projects through the electric distribution utilities.
- 10,000 fewer homes weatherized each year. On average over 10,000 low-income homes a year will not benefit from weatherization or efficiency services once HB6 is fully phased in.
- 500 jobs lost. Though touted as “a jobs bill”, HB 6 will eliminate 500 jobs that rely on funding from electric utility low-income energy efficiency programs.
Higher Costs to Electric Ratepayers
- Ohio has traditional assisted families that cannot afford their utility bills with payment assistance, payment plan, and weatherization programs.
- The General Assembly has traditionally favored weatherization funding over payment assistance because it is a permanent solution.
- After weatherization, many of the households no longer need assistance to afford their utility bills.
- If low income weatherization is eliminated there will be a greater need for bill payment assistance; bad debt and disconnections will increase; and families could be uprooted from their homes, schools and jobs.
Increased Use of Medical Services
Weatherizing homes is proven to have a positive effect on the health of the families living in them. These benefits will be lost for 10,000 Ohio homes a year.
- Weatherization identifies and corrects problems that can result in carbon monoxide poisonings.
- Energy efficient homes are less likely to rely on unsafe heating methods which reduces the instances of house fires.
- Energy efficient homes have lower utility bills which eliminates the choice between heating your home and feeding your family or buying medications.
- Residents of weatherized homes report fewer emergency room visits, fewer missed workdays, and lower medical costs.
Increasing Energy Usage Undermines the Intent of HB 6
- Increased energy use translates into higher wholesale energy prices.
- Increase energy use means more hazardous emissions.