EDF is working with Ohio elected officials, the small business community and other stakeholders on adopting an on-bill repayment (OBR) program in Ohio. As a private capital solution to financing energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) projects, OBR enables building owners to access low-cost capital, with repayment on their utility bills. Small businesses in particular have trouble accessing affordable financing for energy projects, as it is hard for lenders to assess small to medium-sized business (SMB) credit risk and SMB properties are likely rentals that experience high turnover rates. OBR provides lenders with significant credit enhancement, since the repayment obligation is tied to the utility meter and survives changes in rental and ownership. At the same time, utilities and customers can benefit from a well-designed OBR program – one that compensates utilities for their services and allows utilities to receive credit toward state mandates for the OBR-enabled EE and RE investments.
As we at EDF endeavor to increase demand for clean energy projects in Ohio, other parties, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), have proposed rollbacks to Ohio’s energy efficiency and renewable portfolio standards. The standards were established by SB 221 in 2008, with bi-partisan support,– and there is a strong effort underway to defend them. EDF is working with other Ohio clean energy stakeholders to keep the existing standards in place. As we actively participate in this dialogue, EDF vigorously supports the State’s commitment to investing in clean energy – a commitment that has resulted in environmental and economic progress from which we cannot afford to undo.
EDF’s clean energy economic development series documented progress made in Ohio to date, which is extremely promising:
The 1992 Energy Policy Act seeded demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency through tax credits and other programs. In Ohio, two important state efforts in 1999 expanded on this federal support.
The Advanced Energy Fund, created by the Ohio Electric Restructuring Act, provided funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The same bill introduced net metering, which allows homes and businesses that install alternative energy technology — solar, wind, biomass, hydro, etc. — to receive credit for the excess energy their systems generate. Combined, these two efforts provided ways for individuals to reduce the cost of deploying "clean tech" or even turn it into a revenue generator. Read More