Ohio Governor ‘Freezes’ Energy Efficiency Requirements

June 16, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

Ohio energy manageOhio’s Governor John Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 310 that will freeze the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy mandates at this year’s levels until 2017.

Similar to a situation in Indiana earlier this year, critics of the bill say it will effectively halt energy efficiency programs in the state.

Supporters of the legislation in Ohio claim the current mandates that require utilities to source at least 25 percent of their power from renewables by 2025 and reduce overall energy consumption by 22 percent are too costly for ratepayers, especially for industrial electricity users.

The bill states that the energy efficiency rules will automatically be restored in 2017. However, the bill also creates a legislative study committee that could recommend the legislature permanently amend or freeze the rules.

On the other hand, by 2017, states will be implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s new pollution rules, and Ohio may have to re-look at how it’s going to comply, including reinstating its energy efficiency and renewables mandates.

Supporters of the bill included the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business of Ohio, and Ohio Council of Retail Merchants as well as electric utilities.

EDF Associate Vice President, Clean Energy, Cheryl Roberto commented, “In the past, Environmental Defense Fund has been pleased to praise Gov. John Kasich for his leadership on reducing harmful air pollution from oil and gas production and bringing diverse stakeholders together to put clean energy standards in place that are good for Ohio’s economy, health and environment. Unfortunately, the bill the Governor signed into law today can only be viewed as a step backwards for the state.”

Photo of Columbus, Ohio via Shutterstock

One comment on “Ohio Governor ‘Freezes’ Energy Efficiency Requirements

  1. There’s a saying attributed to Warren Miller (the ski film master) that applies here:

    If you don’t do it today, you’ll be a year older when you do.

    I live in a state with a high RPS, and we’ve seen a little better utility price stability thanks to it, and those of us that have made the investment are now immune from rate hikes to the degree that we’ve bought in. A bit like buying your electricity in advance at today’s prices.

    So Ohio has decided to trade a miniscule immediate effect on electric rates for a two-year “reverse head start” on the future. That should work out “well”, even better we you consider the companies that will fold or relocate and be hesitant to reenter the market when they need them.

    Ohio has put a lot of energy into fostering a local fuel cell industry, and it’s starting to get some legs. This morning, every one of those CEO’s has to be reading the tea leaves and wondering if they need to get out of Dodge.

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