- 86% of Ohio voters support the state's current energy efficiency law, with 49% strongly in favor.
- 72% said “we should continue to replace traditional sources of energy like coal with other energy sources like wind and solar power.”
- Two-thirds of Ohio voters are more likely to support legislative candidates that promote renewable energy over those who support coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
The support among Ohio voters for growing the clean energy economy has only continued since the passage of an important bill sparked the creation of new wind and solar jobs in Ohio.
In 2008, with bipartisan support, the Ohio legislature implemented Senate Bill 221. This law helped families in Ohio switch to more efficient lighting and household equipment while increasing the use of clean energy to 25% statewide by 2025.
Ohio’s manufacturing sector is on the right track to continue the state’s clean energy mission. Ohio is already the nation’s leader in the number of facilities manufacturing materials for wind energy, according to the American Wind Energy Association. According to The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census, the number of Ohioans employed in the solar industry increased 31% in 2013, making Ohio the 8th largest employer of solar energy jobs in the country.
"Ohio's clean energy law is working. It's saving money for consumers, creating jobs, and making Ohio competitive,” said Ted Ford, President and CEO of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy. “And now, we can demonstrate that the voting public strongly supports it, too."
Despite the rapidly growing support for a clean, sustainable Ohio, some Republican lawmakers in the state continue to try to prop up dirty fuels. Republican State Senator Troy Balderson presented the anti-energy efficiency bill, Senate Bill 310 that would halt many of the standards made law by Senate Bill 221. More on that attack on Ohio’s energy efficiency laws can be seen here.
Yet this polling shows that while some of Ohio’s politicians haven’t kept up, the public is strongly on the side of clean energy. Clean energy is creating jobs, stirring innovation, reducing pollution, and improving public health in Ohio right now - and voters know it. It’s a lesson that all future candidates who are looking to court Ohio voters should learn: clean energy is a winner.
By Andrew Gruna