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PUCO Approves Columbia Gas of Ohio’s energy efficiency programs

 The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently modified and adopted an agreement signed by Columbia Gas of Ohio, PUCO staff and several interested parties to continue and expand Columbia’s demand-side management (DSM) programs.

Demand-side management programs are measures to decrease energy demand through consumer-based energy efficiency measures like home energy audits, home weatherization and tools for consumers to become more engaged in their energy usage. Columbia’s DSM programs include:

  • WarmChoice®: Low-income customer home weatherization
  • Home Performance Solutions: Low-cost home energy audits and rebates/discounts
  • Simple Energy Solutions: Energy efficient thermostat, shower and aerator rebates
  • High Efficiency Furnace Rebates: Rebates for energy efficient furnaces and boilers
  • Home Energy Reports: Energy usage comparison reports and recommendations
  • Home Energy Checkup: Online energy audit tool
  • e3smart: Student education program and kit of materials
  • EfficiencyCrafted® Homes: Incentives for homes built 30 percent more efficient
  • Residential Code Training: Residential energy code training for builders, officials, trade allies
  • Energy Design Solutions: New commercial building above energy code education and incentives
  • Innovative Energy Solutions: Rebates on energy audits and measures for non-profits and businesses
  • EPA Portfolio Manager: Online energy use benchmarking for commercial buildings

In its June 2016 application, Columbia proposed to extend the term of its DSM programs to six years, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2022. Columbia commits to enhancing several of its existing DSM programs, including increasing weatherization assistance to customers in rental properties, providing audits to multi-family residential buildings, adding rebates for energy efficient water heaters, offering walk-through energy analysis, and increasing the size of buildings eligible for incentives. Columbia agrees to invest approximately $26.8 million annually in DSM programs.

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