Companies and Institutions Make the Business Case for Smart Energy Policy in the Buckeye State
CLEVELAND, April 17, 2019 /3BL Media/ — Companies and institutions in Ohio will gather today to discuss with state lawmakers how energy policy has the potential to drive investment and economic development in the Buckeye State.
Cleveland Clinic, Ohio’s second largest employer, will host the event in partnership with the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres. Schneider Electric, Ameresco, Eaton, MetroHealth System, Barnesville Hospital and the Ohio Hospital Association are among those that will join Cleveland Clinic to share their own energy priorities and discuss the value of investing in energy efficiency and renewables with lawmakers. Investments in these clean technologies can help businesses and institutions save money, hedge against volatile fuel prices and stay competitive.
The event will also feature a tour of Cleveland Clinic’s on-site renewable energy and energy efficient technology. Cleveland Clinic has saved an estimated $50 million in energy costs over the past decade, thanks to energy saving measures such as the LED lighting, building retrofits and equipment optimization.
“At Cleveland Clinic, we are committed to ensuring the long-term health of our communities. That means taking action to minimize air pollution and reduce the impact of our operations,” said Jon Utech, senior director of the Office for a Healthy Environment at Cleveland Clinic. “Investing in clean energy provides an opportunity to meet our financial goals, support a thriving local economy, and provide the best care possible to our patients and the communities we serve.”
Cleveland Clinic is one of a growing number of Ohio companies that have set goals to procure renewable energy and invest in energy efficiency. Many of Ohio’s largest employers, including General Motors, Mercy Health and Whirlpool, are already investing in local clean energy resources, and a total of 39 companies with a presence in the state have committed to powering their operations with 100 percent renewable energy.
“Schneider Electric is committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity and doubling our energy productivity by 2030,” said Kevin Self, senior vice president of strategy at Schneider Electric. “Sustainable energy is a sensible business decision that can improve financial performance and resiliency for both consumers and businesses. In Ohio, economic growth has already been created by reducing energy waste and advancing smart energy technology, but even more growth potential exists.”
“Ameresco knows firsthand how clean energy can help organizations of all sizes and in all sectors solve energy issues and save money,” said Lou Maltezos, executive vice president at Ameresco. “By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, the money our customers save can then be reinvested into their businesses or organizations. For hospitals, that means freeing up money for facility upgrades and additional staff to help improve patient care.”
“As a Critical Access Hospital, Barnesville Hospital is proud to be a leader in energy efficiency. By making energy savings a priority and utilizing utility energy efficiency rebates, Barnesville Hospital has gone from an ENERGY STAR® score of 19 to 100, placing the hospital in the top one percent of energy efficient facilities nationwide,” said David Phillips, CEO of Barnesville Hospital. “As a small, rural hospital, the energy savings realized from our new emergency room, LED lighting upgrades, and energy efficient appliances allow us to ensure we can continue to provide quality care for our communities.”
“We all depend on energy and technology in our daily lives,” said Connie Sasala, global director, sustainability, at Eaton. “Eaton aims to improve people’s lives and the environment with power management technologies and services that increase reliability, safety, efficiency and sustainability. We work hard every day to create innovative solutions for our customers and ourselves, because making these investments minimizes human health and environmental impacts and reduces energy costs."
“The MetroHealth System, like many other Ohio healthcare institutions, has a tremendous interest in energy efficiency, as it provides cost savings that can be put toward patient care and has a direct and positive impact on patient outcomes, community well-being and air pollution,” said Sarah O’Keeffe, director for sustainability at The MetroHealth System. “As MetroHealth transforms its main campus through building a new hospital and green space, we are committed to a 50 percent more energy efficient and resilient building.”
“Mount Carmel Health System is proud of its investments in energy efficiency and sustainability,” said David Cozier, vice president, construction and facilities, at Mount Carmel Health System. “We are committed to reducing our system-wide energy consumption by ten percent in the next eight years through a number of initiatives including lighting upgrades and colleague education.”
“The Ohio Hospital Association is committed to helping Ohio hospitals optimize their operations and reduce their energy use. Hospitals utilize sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives to reduce their utility costs, improve their environmental footprint, and reinvest savings into their communities,” said Nolan Rutschilling, energy program director at Ohio Hospital Association. “In 2018, member hospitals that participated in our energy and sustainability program achieved $9.6 million in energy savings and benefits.”
From 2008 to 2013, Ohio’s clean energy standards spurred investments in the state’s clean energy sector, created thousands of new jobs and stimulated over $160 million in annual GDP growth. Businesses and consumers also saved hundreds of millions of dollars each year on their energy bills during that time, and were on track to save over $5 billion by 2020.
“Major Fortune 500 companies, including many in Ohio, are investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency because it makes smart business sense,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres. “As this trend toward corporate clean energy investment continues, policies that ensure access to cost-effective clean energy will remain vital to Ohio’s ability to grow the state’s economy and create new jobs for its residents.”
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.