This week, First Energy's Ohio utilities have submitted energy efficiency plans to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to help customers save energy and reduce bills.In a press statement, First Energy said the approval of the programmes will allow their implementation by Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison as from January 2017 through to the last quarter of 2019.
The energy efficiency plans include a target to reduce electric consumption by 800,000MWh annually.
In putting the proposals together, First Energy's 10 member utilities have engaged in various consultation with stakeholders in the energy efficiency industry and consumer advocates.
Charles E. Jones, FirstEnergy President commented: "Our proposal supports FirstEnergy's transition to a cleaner energy future.”
[quote] The energy efficiency plans will provide customers with additional tools to manage their electric use and support environmental benefits, added Jones.
The plans include programmes such as the Low-Income New Homes Programme which offers incentives to newly connected homes for reduction in energy consumption and the Energy Efficient Homes Programme which promotes customer education on energy efficiency.
The Energy Efficient Homes Programme will use various methods to ensure outreach to consumers including school education, energy efficiency kits and home energy audits.
The filed portfolio also includes programmes such as the Energy Efficient Products, Appliance Turn-in, Direct Load Control and the Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programme.
Energy efficiency in the US
The news follows an announcement in late March by PPL utilities that it received Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's (PUC) approval to increase the number of programmes in its energy efficiency portfolio.
The approval allowed the utility to include a set of programmes targeting both residential and commercial consumers, in its US$307.5m energy efficiency portfolio.
The submission of the energy efficiency plans was in line with the PUC's mandate for utilities to draft new measures or enhance existing programmes to help consumers reduce energy bills.
By implementing the approved plan, PPL utilities are targeting to reduce annual consumption by 1.4m MGW.
The development will see the launch of a demand-response plan that allows commercial customers to sign up for rate incentives in exchange for agreeing to scale back energy usage at peak times.
Joe Nixon, spokesperson for PPL utilities said: "The programme will be for non-residential customers who agree to reduce their peak demand during demand-response events."
For residential consumers, Nixon said “[the programmes] are very similar to the current plans we have in place" and will include recycling of energy-wasting appliances such as old refrigerators, education initiatives, home-energy efficiency programs and lighting efficiency improvements.