Today's utility environment provides a venue for residential consumers to be smarter with their energy usage in unprecedented ways. Many of these opportunities can help reduce electric and natural gas bills through a menu of ideas ranging from energy efficiency tips to innovative rate designs to demand-side management programs.
Energy efficiency can occur either through programs that encourage residential consumers to install more cost-effective appliances, such as high efficiency air-conditioning systems or refrigerators or through pricing mechanisms that reward customers with low rates for usage during off-peak periods and signal customers to conserve during peak periods.
The availability of carefully designed programs in which residential consumers can easily participate will not only enhance service options for customers by providing additional choices and more control over their energy consumption, but it also will contribute to the overall stabilization of energy prices.
A diverse resource portfolio also can help guarantee energy independence, affordable pricing and reliability into the future. The development of clean energy resources and renewable energy should be sought after and available to residential consumers in a cost effective manner.
When consumers are smarter with their use of energy, it can be a win-win solution. That's why the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) is working hard to provide consumers with the most up-to-date information on a variety of alternative energy programs. Keep checking the OCC website for information on energy efficiency programs, demand side management options - including net metering - and a host of renewable energy resources.
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