May 12, 2015

MORPC has a long history of working with local residents and manufacturers to not only ensure we are being energy efficient as a region, but to help save on energy costs.

Now, as legislation makes its way through the Statehouse on Energy Special Improvement Districts (E-SIDS), MORPC Energy & Air Quality Director Christina O'Keeffe is speaking about the importance of energy improvement projects and how our local governments can use them to share services with one another.

At a Statehouse hearing of the House Public Utilities Committee earlier this month, O’Keeffe testified in support of House Bill 72, legislation to expand the type of entities that can create and govern E-SIDs and adopt bylaws for the development and implementation of plans for special energy improvement projects. 

Local governments will benefit because the law will no longer require those who are joining together in a regional E-SID to be contiguous with one another – meaning more shared services across multiple jurisdictions. That’s a win-win for everyone.

The goal is to create a regional tool that serves the economic development efforts specific to infill redevelopment opportunities of commercial and industrial properties. This effort stems from key recommendations from the Regional Energy Action Plan, a first-of-its-kind report released by MORPC last year in partnership with the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC).

MORPC is excited to support its member communities on this initiative and to leverage its experts, including O’Keefe, who leads a staff of more than 25 technical and programmatic professionals to deliver more than $6 million in federal, state and private funds. Their work in connecting local governments, businesses, and residents to financial and program resources in many program areas, including energy, will continue to benefit Central Ohio for years to come.

HB 72 is being considered in the House Public Utilities Committee, and MORPC will continue to keep an informed eye on the legislation as it progresses.