Ohio legislators were supposed to vote this week on Senate Bill 58 to change energy efficiency mandates and renewable energy requirements, but Ohio Republican Sen. William Seitz, chairman of the Senate Public Utilities Committee and lead sponsor of the bill, abruptly cancelled the committee’s scheduled Wednesday meeting, reports The Plain Dealer.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Seitz is rewriting the section of the bill that governs from whom electric utilities must purchase their renewable energy.
The bill is controversial with major Ohio businesses on different sides of the issue. On one side are companies like Dow Chemical, Honda, the Lima Husky Refinery, Whirlpool, Owens-Corning, BASF and Ingersoll Rand. These companies argue that the bill’s provisions would reduce any incentives to use less power. And many Ohio businesses enjoy the energy efficiency incentives that go hand in hand with mandates.
Conversely, metals manufacturers Timken and Alcoa favor the bill, which would allow large power users to opt out of the mandatory efficiency programs.
Groups against SB 58 such as the Consumers’ Union claim the bill will destroy Ohio’s energy efficiency rules and lead to higher costs for consumers and will result in huge giveaways to utilities at the expense of ratepayers.
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