State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



4.0Scored out of 50Updated 12/2022
State Government
Score: 1 out of 4.5
State Government Summary List All

Ohio offers several incentives for energy-efficient investments, including PACE financing. The state government leads by example by requiring the benchmarking of energy use in public buildings and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. Research focused on efficient vehicles is conducted at the Center for Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment at Ohio State University.

Financial Incentives List All

The state of Ohio offers the following financial incentives to encourage energy efficiency improvements:

  • Energy Conservation for Ohioans Program
  • Air Quality Improvement Tax Incentives
  • Energy Efficiency Program for Manufacturers
  • Energy Loan Fund

Further financial incentive information can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Ohio). In addition to these state-funded incentives, Ohio has enabled commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has a few active programs. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Equity Metrics and Workforce DevelopmentList All

We were unable to determine if the state has taken specific steps to engage with marginalized groups in the community for the creation or implementation of its energy, sustainability, or climate action plans, or if its energy plans or electrification strategies establish specific policies or equity-related metrics to ensure access for underserved customers. We are unsure if the state includes specific measures to prioritize clean energy workforce development.

Last Reviewed: July 2021

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The State of Ohio does not yet have carbon pricing policies in place.

At this time, the state does not have a statewide emissions reduction goal in place.

Last Reviewed: September 2022

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Public Building Requirements List All

Executive Order 2007 - 02S (2007) directed each state agency, board, and commission to conduct a statewide energy audit of its respective facilities, both owned and leased, and to achieve an overall reduction of 5% in building energy use for its facilities within a year and 15% by the end of four fiscal years. The order required the use of EPA's Portfolio Manager as a benchmarking tool for state-owned facilities. 

H.B. 251, also enacted in 2007, requires an energy consumption analysis for state leases of buildings over 20,000 square feet. The bill also calls for institutions of higher education to reduce energy consumption by at least 20 percent by 2014 from a 2004 baseline.

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Fleets List All

Executive Order 2007-02S ordered each state agency to reduce their fuel consumption. Ohio law (Revised Code Section 123.011 (F)(1)) requires each state agency to develop average fuel economy standards. Each state agency submits data to calculate average fuel economy, per each state agency. There are 47 state agencies that have fleets with a variety of vehicles, and the average fuel economy was 17.4 mpg in fiscal year 2009.

By executive order there is a requirement for continuous improvement, which effectively sets a default target to do better than the previous year (>17.4).

Last Reviewed: June 2022

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

In Ohio, ESPCs are coordinated by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, formed by a merge between the Office of Energy Services and the Ohio School Facilities Commission. ESPCs have been in use since 1994 in public buildings and universities.

Last Reviewed: July 2020

Research & Development List All

The Center for Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment (CESE) at Ohio State University (OSU) is a research center for the College of Engineering to coalesce its research strengths, including clean energy, energy efficiency, and policy. CESE conducts research in efficient energy infrastructure systems (e.g. power grid, and transportation networks), as well as "systems of energy systems" (e.g. smart micro grids, and markets). CESE also serves to integrate and advance the research strengths represented through several affiliated centers and labs.  

Last Reviewed: July 2017

Score: 3 out of 12
Buildings Summary List All

Effective July 1, 2019, a new residential code will be in effect based upon the 2018 IRC/IECC with amendments. Ohio's commercial energy code is mandatory statewide and references both the 2012 IECC and 2010 ASHRAE 90.1 with amendments. The state has completed a gap analysis, offers training and outreach, and involves utilities in code compliance activities. There is no statutory review or update requirement specific to energy codes.  However, there is a general statutory requirement for state agencies to review rules every 5 years. 

Residential Codes List All

Effective July 1, 2019, a new residential code will be in effect based upon the 2018 IRC/IECC with amendments. Previously residential home builders were required to comply with the 2009 IECC. 

Amendments were made to both the commercial and residential model code energy requirements.  Weakening amendments to the  residential energy provisions relate to basement and crawl space wall R-values, air leakage rates and the allowance to utilize framing cavities as return ducts.

Local jurisdictions are not permitted to adopt energy codes that conflict with the energy codes adopted by the state. The adopted commercial and residential energy codes are applicable to 100% of the construction activity that takes place in the state.  However, local jurisdictions have the option of enforcing residential code provisions, including energy conservation requirements.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Commercial Code List All

Ohio's commercial energy code is mandatory statewide and references both the 2012 IECC and 2010 ASHRAE 90.1 with amendments.

Amendments were made to both the commercial and residential model code energy requirements.  Clarifying amendments to the commercial energy provisions include adopting newer model energy code text relating to roof replacment, repair, and recovering and computer rooms/data centers.  Weakening amendments were made relating to circulating water pump controls and automatic receptacle controls.

Local jurisdictions are not permitted to adopt energy codes that conflict with the energy codes adopted by the state.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) completed an Ohio Gap Analysis report in 2010. An update was published in 2014.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: No statewide compliance study has been done, although AEP Ohio completed a compliance study for their service territory.
  • Utility Involvement: American Electric Power Ohio and Columbia Gas provide funding for training as part of the Ohio Energy Codes Ambassador Program. Utility support is voluntary: the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio does not require utility investment in code compliance efforts.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: NA
  • Training/Outreach: The Board does regularly sponsor energy code trainings that are available to code officials and builders.  Currently, the Board has contracted with ICC to provide free in-person training around the state on the 2018 IECC Residential Energy Code Essentials.

Last Updated: July 2022 

CHP Summary List All

Ohio has an interconnection standard that applies to CHP and offers an incentive program and financing assistance for CHP. One new CHP system was installed in 2018.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: Ohio Administrative Code 4901:1-22

Description: In 2007, Ohio adopted new interconnection standards applicable to distributed generation, including CHP. Ohio’s interconnection standards now separate interconnection into three tiers, to allow for easier and more streamlined applications for the smallest generators and a similarly streamlined application for larger generators that are still smaller than 2MW. A third tier provides a process for generators up to 20MW. A plain-language guide to interconnection accompanies the new tiered system. Ohio’s standards are also compatible with IEEE’s 1547 interconnection standard.

Last Updated: September 2018

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

CHP in energy efficiency standards: Under the state's EEPS, Ohio’s investor-owned utilities were required to prepare and implement energy efficiency plans and CHP was an eligible technology. Though 2014 legislation placed a two-year freeze on energy efficiency requirements, several utilities indicate that they will continue to incorporate energy efficiency in their integrated resource planning processes.

Revenue streams: Two utilities, AEP Ohio and Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) both recently initiated custom programs for customers in their service territories to install CHP. In May 2015, DP&L launched a CHP incentive program that provides up to $500,000 for CHP projects with generating capacities less than 500 kW (not to exceed 50% of the project cost) The rebates include $0.08 per kWh generated and $100 per kW capacity.

Last Updated: September 2018

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing: Ohio offers a 100% Energy Conversion and Thermal Efficiency Sales Tax Exemption to industrial and commercial property owners with energy conversion, solid waste energy conversion or thermal efficiency improvement facilities designed, constructed or installed after December 31, 1974.

Net metering: Applicable only to renewable-powered systems and microturbines, Ohio’s net metering rules have been updated several times since being enacted in 1999.

Last Updated: September 2018

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are currently limited additional statewide supportive policies to encourage CHP. Customers located within Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) service territory may have access to technical assistance, including funding of up to $10,000 to subsidize the cost of a CHP feasibility study.

Last Updated: September 2018

Score: 0.5 out of 15
Utilities Summary List All

Up until 2020, Ohio’s investor-owned utilities have historically administered energy efficiency programs under a regulated structure with oversight by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). In 2008, the state passed a law establishing an EERS with energy savings goals for electric utilities and allowing for cost recovery and decoupling. Rules for implementing the law were published by the PUCO in July 2009.

However, since that time energy efficiency efforts in Ohio have faced repeated legislative attacks that have weakened and jeopardized programs. These have included SB 310, passed in 2014, that temporarily froze the EERS for two years in 2015 and 2016, and included an industrial opt-out for large electric energy customers. Most recently, HB 6, a nuclear subsidy bill passed in 2019, dealt a disastrous and lethal blow to energy efficiency in the state, effectively eliminating most all programs.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

With passage of SB 221 in 2008, Ohio established the foundation for the full range of customer energy efficiency programs offered by utilities. However, in recent years programs have succumbed to damaging legislative attacks. SB 310 (2014) enacted a 2-year freeze on the state’s EERS (2015-2016). And in 2019, HB 6, justified subsidies for two nuclear power plants in the state by cutting renewable and energy efficiency surcharges on customer bills, in effect ending most all programs. Utilities do have the option of requesting permission from PUCO to voluntarily to continue programs, however, given HB 6 prohibits a cost recovery mechanism for energy efficiency, continuation of programs is unlikely in most cases.

In February 2020, PUCO ruled that energy efficiency programs would wind down beginning September 30, 2020 and will terminate on December 31, 2020, per the statutory requirements of HB 6.

Financing options are available to customers. The Advanced Energy Fund, instituted in 1999, supports an Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund that is administered by the state. A universal service rider, a type of surcharge, supports the Ohio Energy Loan Fund, providing low income bill assistance and efficiency incentives. 

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: May 2020

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Under the state's EEPS, Ohio’s investor-owned utilities were required to prepare and implement energy efficiency plans. However, following the passage of HB 6 (2019), effectively terminating the state’s EERS and eliminating the ability of utility to recover costs of efficiency programs, these programs will be phased out by the end of 2020. Per the requirements of HB 6, in a February 2020 order PUCO called on utilities to cease accepting applications for direct rebate programs for both residential and non-residential energy efficiency programs on September 30, 2020.

For further reading, in March 2009, as part of the State Clean Energy Resource Project, ACEEE completed the report Shaping Ohio's Energy Future: Energy Efficiency Works (E092).

Last Updated: May 2020

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

HB 6 (2019) effectively terminated the state’s previously enacted EERS, which had been in place since 2008. Specifically, HB 6 lowered the state’s efficiency standard from 22% to 17.5% cumulative energy savings―a goal utilities anticipate surpassing in 2020―and allows utilities to count their savings collectively. Given the bill prohibits PUCO from approving a cost recovery mechanism after the 17.5% target is reached, programs are scheduled to be discontinued at the close of 2020.

Before it's dismantling under HB 6, Ohio’s previous EERS had been enacted under Senate Bill 221 in 2008 and included both an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS), among other provisions. For efficiency, the law required a gradual ramp up to a cumulative 22% reduction in electricity use by 2025. Beginning in 2009, the Act required investor-owned utilities and retail suppliers to implement energy efficiency programs that achieve energy savings equal 0.3% of sales, ramping up to 1% in 2014, and 2% in 2021. The baseline for which energy savings were calculated against is the average number of total kilowatt hours sold by electric distribution utilities during the preceding three years. Ohio’s EEPS also included peak demand reduction targets of 0.75% annually through 2018.

Last Updated: May 2020

Utility Business Model List All

Under HB 6 (2019), any cost recovery for compliance with the state's EERS is terminated upon utilities effectively reaching the 17.5% cumulative savings benchmark, a goal anticipated to be surpassed in 2020. Per HB 6, a February 2020 PUCO order calls for the winding down of programs starting in September 2020.

In the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) rules, the commission may provide for decoupling, and an electric distribution utility may submit an application for approval of a revenue decoupling mechanism to PUCO. Rather than true decoupling, the gas utilities have all been allowed to implement straight-fixed-variable rate designs. Rule: ORC §4928.143(B)(2)(h); Duke riders: Docket Nos. 06-0091-EL-UNC, 06-0092-EL-UNC, and 06-0093-GA-UNC.

In January 2015, Ohio Senate Bill 310 gave certain customers the ability to opt-out of energy efficiency programs entirely. HB 6 (2019)  amended R.C. 4928.6610 expanding the opt-out to all mercantile customers as of January 1, 2020.

Last Updated: May 2020

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Primary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: total resource cost test 

  • Secondary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: utility cost test  

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Ohio relies on regulatory orders (Green Rules as adopted by the Commission in Case No. 08-888-EL-ORD). Evaluations are administered by both the utilities and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Rules and requirements for these evaluations are drafted in the Draft Technical Reference Manual Docket: Case No. 09-512-GE-UNC. Evaluations are conducted statewide and for each of the utilities. Ohio uses two of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost (TRC) and Utility/Program Administrator (UCT) tests, with the TRC used as the primary test according to the Ohio administrative code (4091:1-39-01 (Y). The benefit-cost tests are required for portfolio and customer project level screening and are stated in Case No. 09-512-GE-UNC.

Ohio’s TRC accounts for productivity as a participant non-energy benefit. Additionally, Ohio includes water and fossil fuel savings. While it is expected that most programs pass the TRC, Ohio utilities can run programs that do not pass the TRC if they demonstrate high non-energy benefits. These non-energy benefits include participant asset value, economic well-being, comfort, health and safety, and satisfaction as well as environmental impacts, public health, economic development and jobs, and energy. While low-income programs do not have to pass the TRC, Ohio mandates a low-income specific program.

Further information on cost-effectiveness screening practices for Ohio is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), a resource of the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP).

Last Updated: May 2019

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Ohio’s Restructuring Act, passed in July 1999, created the Universal Service Fund to control the cost of state’s Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) for low-income customers. Sec. 4928.55 of the legislation also directed the creation of the Electric Partnership Program (EPP) to target high-cost, high-volume PIPP or PIPP-eligible households. The EPP is designed to improve the electric efficiency of low-income households who participate in or are eligible for PIPP Plus. The program performs in-home audits and installs appropriate electric energy efficiency measures. About $15 million is set aside for the EPP each year. In addition to the EPP, most of Ohio’s gas utilities have weatherization programs, typically coordinated with the federal Weatherization Assistance Program.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Ohio uses the total resource cost (TRC) test and the utility cost test (UCT). Ohio specifies the TRC as its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for portfolio and customer project-level screening and are stated in Case No. 09-512-GE-UNC.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA), Community Services Division, Office of Community Assistance (OCA) is responsible for administering LIHEAP, the Community Services Block Grant, the PIPP Plus Program, the State Energy Plan, and the EPP. In doing so, the HWAP network integrates federal weatherization funds with utility resources through a single coordinated funding model, managing programs for all seven major utilities.

Last updated: April 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Self-direct options are available for large customers in Ohio. Under SB 221, a mercantile customer, which is a commercial or industrial customer that consumes more than 700,000 kWh per year, may enter into a special arrangement with an electric utility to integrate the customer’s demand reduction, demand-response, or energy efficiency programs with those of the electric utility. If the specified reduction levels are met, the customer can request exemption from the cost recovery mechanism.

One of the state’s utilities, AEP, has a self-direct program that offers customers an incentive for previously implemented energy efficiency measures. The one-time incentive is 75% of what the measure would cost under AEP programs and has a maximum limit of $225,000. Projects must have been implemented after Jan. 1, 2008, and must produce 100% of stated energy savings and/or peak demand reductions over a five-year period. Customers taking the incentive are still eligible to participate in the utility's other energy efficiency programs because they are still paying the cost-recovery mechanism (CRM) fee.

Last Updated: September 2016

Data AccessList All

Ohio has no policy in place that requires utilities to release energy use data to customers or third parties.

Last Updated: September 2016 

Score: 0.5 out of 13
Transportation Summary List All

The state has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for improvement.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land use Integration: No policy in place or proposed.

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: Ohio has a state freight plan that identifies a multimodal freight network, but it does not include freight energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Equitable Access to TransportationList All

Ohio does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, nor does it consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 3
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Ohio has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

Last Updated: July 2018