Formula grant funds provided through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) State Energy Program (SEP) assisted the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) in helping Cleveland Thermal reduce heating and water costs by 20%, or about $1,400,000 annually, through an energy audit and subsequent energy efficiency improvements. Cleveland Thermal has provided energy services to downtown Cleveland since 1894 and currently operates two plants and a 20-mile piping network serving over 30 million square feet of property.

During the summer and fall of 2019, JCC Energy Solutions, an energy audit provider under contract with ODSA, conducted a comprehensive audit of Cleveland Thermal's energy systems. Under this contract, JCC Energy Solutions produced for Cleveland Thermal an in-depth audit of its energy consumption, a new utility billing tracking system, and recommendations for improving its condensation capture system to increase efficiency and cut water and heating costs.

The project was completed as part of the multi-phase Energy Efficiency Program for Manufacturers, a program administered by ODSA that diagnoses, plans, and implements cost-effective energy improvements at Ohio manufacturing facilities. The full cost of the $17,550 audit was split equally between SEP funding and Cleveland Thermal in accordance with the program’s cost-matching requirements.

Joe Bisesi, who manages all of the energy efficiency projects for Cleveland Thermal's plants, attested to the substantial benefits of the audit and subsequent implementation of the utility billing system and condensation capture improvements. According to figures provided by Mr. Bisesi, Cleveland Thermal has cut its steam and water bills by 20% annually, amounting to roughly $1,400,000 in savings annually against a total annual expense of about $7,000,000. These improvements will be critical for additional future savings as Cleveland Thermal expands its generation to meet growing demand.

The savings realized from the audit, energy efficiency improvements, and billing system highlight the importance of a systematic approach to energy management through the partnership between DOE and ODSA in administering SEP to deliver energy cost reductions and other benefits to Ohio residents and businesses. EERE's State Energy Program looks forward to future success in working with ODSA to achieve our shared goals of reducing energy use through energy efficiency and delivering reliable, low-cost energy to businesses and communities.

DOE's State Energy Program provides funding and technical assistance to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste. The State Energy Program emphasizes the state's role as the decision maker and administrator for program activities within the state that are tailored to their unique resources, delivery capacity, and energy goals.