Ohio Senate Wants to Freeze Utility Efficiency Mandates

ohiostatehouseRepublican state lawmakers in Ohio introduced legislation that would freeze the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy mandates at this year’s levels, according to The Plain Dealer.

Senate Bill 310 would also create the Energy Mandates Study Committee, a body that would be charged with determining by Dec. 15, 2015 how much mandated efficiency and renewables projects actually cost consumers and how costs may change if the state resumed the mandates as currently written in the existing law, the paper reports. The legislation would require regulators to mandate that utilities disclose the costs of such programs on customers’ bills.

The current law requires that utilities install energy efficiency equipment in a bid to to reduce overall power consumption and decrease peak demand by 22 percent by 2025, compared to 2009 levels. Such efficiency programs are paid for by small increases in electricity rates, the paper reports.

The new legislation would instead require a 1 percent reduction in demand by the end of this year, compared to an average of the last three years. In 2015, and in subsequent years, the reduction requirement would be frozen at 4.2 percent of the sales from 2011 to 2014.

In Indiana, legislators voted to shut down the state’s energy efficiency program – Energizing Indiana. Energizing Indiana pays energy auditors to visit homes and businesses and recommend ways to reduce energy. The program was launched in 2012 and mandates that utilities reduce energy consumption by 2 percent every year through 2019. The program will now end December 31, 2014.

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