On September 9, 2013, Duke Energy filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) a three-year plan that seeks to reduce electricity use among its customers by 5.7 percent by 2018. This amount of reduction in energy use exceeds the energy reductions through energy efficiency required by Ohio law.
Ohio S.B. 221, signed into law May 1, 2008, included both an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, and an Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, among other provisions. For energy efficiency, the law requires a gradual ramp up to a cumulative 22 percent reduction in electricity use by 2025.
Although much of Duke’s proposed plan targets residential customers, commercial customers may benefit from programs including incentives to adopt energy smart lighting, heating and cooling systems, and commercial energy audits. Additionally, the Duke proposal contains a provision that Duke will work with interested customers in developing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to create a potential incentive or reasonable arrangement mechanism to be jointly filed with PUCO (Commission), “[u]ntil such time as the Commission develops regulations for the counting of energy savings from [CHP] and Waste Energy Recovery (WER) under Revised Code 4928.66(A)(1)(a), or the Commission develops a CHP/WER pilot program or other mechanism.”