Cleveland steps up on energy efficiency challenge

Kathiann Kowalski
March 25, 2015
Midwest Energy News
Representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy and the City of Cleveland were on hand Monday at the city’s Fire Station No. 1 to recognize local leaders in DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge.
Participants in the federal program publicly commit to decrease their energy consumption by at least 20 percent over a 10-year period and to share their know-how with others. Energy efficiency is a key part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
Monday’s program gave kudos to both the Cleveland Division of Fire and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority for reducing energy consumption and cutting costs for area taxpayers.
Also honored were the commercial real estate company Forest City Enterprises and the Cleveland Clinic. Both organizations have their headquarters in Cleveland.
The energy savings achieved by the organizations put them well ahead of the benchmarks utilities must meet under the current version of Ohio’s energy efficiency standard. Last year Ohio Senate Bill 310 extended that standard’s timetable and relaxed its requirements.
The Energy Mandates Study Committee set up by SB 310 continues to focus on costs, and some members question the value of the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. Little was said about the benefits of energy efficiency when the committee held its most recent meeting in Columbus last week.
In contrast, those at Monday’s program in Cleveland praised energy efficiency for its cost-effective savings and additional benefits.