Investing to Re-Energize Ohio
October 24, 2007
Ohio’s Advanced Energy Fund should be expanded and made permanent, according to this October 2007 report from Policy Matters Ohio. The fund uses grants, contracts, loans, linked deposits and production incentives to encourage a more renewable economy. A larger and more stable Advanced Energy Fund would encourage investment in clean energy products and services, stimulate development in clean energy, and reduce the use of polluting and foreign fuels. Ohio’s Advanced Energy Fund currently generates just $5 million a year through a surcharge on Ohio electric utility bills which adds 9 cents per customer per month. Of the 18 states that have such funds, Ohio has one of the smallest, despite the state’s size and high energy use. Such state funds leverage three dollars in private investment for every dollar of public expenditures, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. The Policy Matters analysis found that while Ohio’s fund remains small and got off to a slow start, it has had similar positive results. Residential customers, housing developers, commercial and industrial businesses, local governments, educational institutions, nonprofit entities, and agricultural customers can apply for support from the Ohio fund. The report also makes additional recommendations on how to use an expanded fund.