Representatives of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Ohio Business Council for a Clean Economy Tuesday defended the state’s efforts regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy in a conference call with reporters.
Focusing on Ohio’s lighting industry, Dylan Sullivan, NRDC staff scientist, said that the state’s lighting industry has grown quietly and without a lot of attention from policymakers. “With more than 4 billion screw-based bulbs being transitioned to new technologies in the United States alone, Ohio’s economy stands to gain significantly from the companies leading the change. The state already boasts 1,500 manufacturing jobs from the industry, with potential for many more to come,” he noted.
A new report from NRDC, “Better Bulbs, Better Jobs” released today, highlights that potential with case studies of large and small job producers across the state.
“If you weren’t watching, it might be a surprise to learn that Ohio is a world leader in developing energy efficient lighting,” Sullivan, report co-author, added. “There is huge potential for this industry, but we need to retain Ohio’s smart policies to secure future growth. Rolling back the policies that strengthen the market for these innovative products means rolling back jobs just starting to come online all over the state.”
The report outlines federal and state policies that are helping to create a market for advanced lighting technologies and includes seven case studies of Ohio companies driving the industry. TCP Lighting in Aurora (near Cleveland) has been central to the development of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) and is now poised to open a manufacturing facility in Ohio. Cincinnati’s LSI LED created the fixtures used to light New York’s landmark George Washington Bridge. Smaller companies like J&M Electrical Supply and J’s Lighting Services, both in Cambridge, are helping manufacturing businesses reduce costs and stay in Ohio by making the transition to more efficient lighting, the NRDC reports points out.
“In Ohio, the state’s existing energy efficiency standard has been effective. The technologies put in place in 2009 and 2010 as a result of the efficiency standards will save customers over $350 million over their lifetime,” Sullivan said. “And the transition to advanced lighting offers huge benefits outside of Ohio too. The nationwide transition to more efficient lighting means:
– “Electric bill savings of more than $12.5 billion per year.
– “Energy savings equivalent to 30 large power plants.
– “Reduced pollution, including a 60 percent reduction in mercury emissions from power plants and prevention of approximately 100 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution per year.”
The report notes that, “Largely due to 127-SB221, Ohio utilities offer incentives on top of lower energy bills to help customers finance energy efficiency upgrades, including lighting. Depending on your utility, incentives might include discounted energy-efficient bulbs, appliance rebates, money for your old, inefficient appliances and others.”
Asked if the conference call was in response to reports that Republican legislators in the state are backing a bill to wipe out or lessen the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy standards, Sullivan said that, of course, they are concerned because those standards helped create a market for these lighting technologies.
Steve Caminati of the Ohio Business Council for Clean Economy said they, too, are concerned but that they have talked with both Republicans and Democrats who understand the growth of the industry and its potential and “want it to succeed.
“As they see projects and tour sites, they get excited.”
“Better Bulbs, Better Jobs: Case Studies in Ohio’s Energy Efficient Lighting Industry” is available online at