Ohio Governor ‘Freezes’ Energy Efficiency Requirements
Ohio’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.”
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