March, 2020

The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) released drafts of the PY 2020 HWAP State Plan and the HEAP Transfer Request to the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, March 6th. ODSA deserves kudos for getting these materials out two weeks before the Policy Advisory Council meeting and nineteen days before the public hearing. The Agency also is to be commended for acknowledging and addressing issues raised during the multiple listening sessions held at Weatherize Ohio and other forums.

Commission Confirms HB 6 Shut Down of Energy Efficiency Mandates

Late last year, the  Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)  requested comments on whether the electric utilities’ energy efficiency (DSM) programs should end essentially immediately, or whether they would operate through 2020. It took three months to make up their minds, and the decision issued late last month answered some questions while creating others.

OPAE Wins Merchant Function Case

On Thursday, February 26th, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the settlement filed by OPAE, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, the PUCO staff, Dominion East Ohio, and a motley crew of energy marketers, that starts to reverse efforts to deny customers the lowest natural gas prices.

Yes, this is the ‘exit the merchant function’ issue I’ve been prattling about since 2005. The newsletter has included a number of articles about this, so I’ll cut to the chase.

What is a Customer-Focused Energy Service or Product?

HB 247 is pending legislation that is going through a stakeholder comment process. The point of the bill is to allow electric distribution utilities, which are regulated monopolies, sell or provide behind the meter services like energy management, demand response, battery storage, solar, and a host of other stuff. On one level, it sounds reasonable for a utility do this kind of stuff, but on another not so much.

FirstEnergy Community Connections
  • Production is slightly behind the schedule necessary to spend out by end of May. Agencies have spent 64% of funding, but should be at 75% going into final quarter.
  • We need everyone to make a big push to spend out.
  • Portage received additional LEEN Training from Dora that helped them. Remaining balance of$1,680,955. Agencies must average $560,318 per month to spend out.
  • OPAE has moved funding – you know who you are – to help ensure we make the target.

AEP Community Assistance Program
  • $328,662.52 has been spent in first 2 months.
  • The agencies as a group must average $469,511 per month to spend out in the remaining 9 months.
  • This program will close at least a month early.

Dayton Power &Light Company Low-Income Program
  • Agencies are way behind on spending. In first 2 months, providers only spent $45,270, leaving $1,120,729.
  • Agencies will need to average $124,525 per month to spend out in 9 months.
  • This program will also close at least a month early.
  • OPAE is scheduling a meeting next week to develop strategies to meet production targets.

Electric Partnership Program
  • As of the January billing 60% of all funds have been spent, higher than the 53% target.
  • Fayette was monitored by State.

Meet Rich Gardner, Inspector at Lorain County Community Action Agency

Apartment Residents Get New Refrigerators

Residents of two apartment complexes in Lorain have efficient appliances thanks to LCCAA’s Community Connections program. LCCAA facilitated the replacement of every refrigerator at both Pearl Village and Westgate Gardens Apartments. Pearl Village includes 80 units and Westgate Gardens 50. Both buildings are subsidized by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Your Agency Could Win $50 for a Lunch Party
Stories about your agency and the impacts your agency is having in your communities are crucial to share with our various stakeholders. In an effort to encourage the submission of more stories, we are launching a quarterly contest.

The agency that submits the most stories within a quarter will win $50 toward an agency lunch party. So get those stories submitted!

Q2: April - June
Q3: July - September
Q4: October - December
  • The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization is stepping it up to help their community with health care needs since the hospital shut down. "Help offered after OLBH closure: Assistance available for patients, employees" READ MORE >>>

  • Thank you Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Retail Energy Supply Association, Dominion Energy, IGS and Direct Energy for unanimously agreeing to a natural gas settlement to benefit consumers! READ MORE >>>

  • Great education program from OPAE Member Great Lakes Community Action Partnership - Fostoria YouthBuild helps young people get a second chance at a high school diploma READ MORE >>>

  • Congrats to OPAE Member West Ohio CAP: WOCAP honored for ‘No Excuses’ shelter program. READ MORE >>>

  • Really nice article! And congrats to our member CAA of Columbiana County for your management of your community's transit! READ MORE >>>

  • A new mental health clinic offering a more casual and open therapeutic approach will soon be opening in Fremont - Great Lakes Community Action Partnership READ MORE >>>

Leadership Changes
  • Clinton County Community Action, Inc - Executive Director Dean Knapp has retired; Please welcome incoming ED, Jane Newkirk.

  • Stark County Community Action Agency - Welcome Jason Butcher HWAP Director for Stark County Community Action Agency.

  • State HWAP Monitor Brian Kramer has left State employment. We all wish him luck in his future endeavors.
The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD)
has the following full-time Athens position available: