AEE and Ohio AEE Respond to Ohio’s House Vote to Extend the Freeze on the State’s Energy Standards
Despite overwhelming public opposition, the Ohio House rushes to pass a bill to effectively extend the state’s energy freeze, says business group
[Columbus, Ohio, December 7, 2016]—Today, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and Ohio Advanced Energy Economy (OAEE), AEE’s state partner in Ohio, released the following statement following Ohio’s House vote passing Substitute House Bill 554. The Bill would further weaken the state’s energy standards by turning the requirement for utilities to purchase renewable energy and invest in energy efficiency into voluntary goals without compliance obligations through 2021. The final vote was 56-41*.
“Today, the Ohio House took a vote that effectively extends the debilitating freeze on Ohio’s successful renewable energy and efficiency policy ,” said J.R. Tolbert, vice president for state policy at Advanced Energy Economy (AEE). “The passage of Sub. HB554 handcuffs a rapidly growing industry that employs over 100,000 Ohioans—a move that will divert jobs and investments from Ohio and to its neighboring states like Michigan that are in the process of increasing their energy standards.”
“Ohio is continuing to fall behind its neighbors in developing cleaner, cheaper sources of energy. This Bill continues the uncertainty that prevents businesses from being able to plan for investing in Ohio for the long-term. The freeze is costing Ohio consumers and businesses money and it is damaging the state’s long-term competitiveness,” said Ted Ford, president of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy (Ohio AEE).
“We’ve been able to demonstrate that a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas is the least cost way that Ohio can meet its going energy demand while ensuring ratepayers aren’t on the hook for future cost increases,” added Tolbert. “Lawmakers are opting to turn down $3.3 billion dollars in savings for the state and $192 dollars in annual savings for the average household by 2027 by failing to capitalize on advanced energy technologies. That’s a real shame.”
This vote happens as news reports today highlight top Fortune 500 companies are increasing their commitments to sustainability and renewable energy sources, many with targets of meeting 100 percent of their needs with clean energy sources. In 2016 Corporate Advanced Energy Commitments, AEE reports that 71 of the Fortune 100 companies have set renewable energy or sustainability targets, up from 60 just two years ago. Among the Fortune 500, commitments have held steady at 43 percent, or 215 firms. Of these companies, 22 have committed to powering all of their operations with renewable energy. Most consider energy resources as they make location and expansion decisions.
In another new report, Private Procurement, Public Benefit: Integrating Corporate Renewable Energy Purchases with Utility Resource Planning, the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University explains that corporate renewable commitments present challenges but also several opportunities for states to capitalize on these commitments.
HB554 now heads to the Senate for consideration.*Reflects updated final vote (from our earlier reported 54-40 vote) after some legislators, including the speaker, changed their votes.
About AEE and OAEE
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. AEE works with Ohio Advanced Energy Economy and its other State Partner organizations active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 organizations in the advanced energy industry. www.aee.net @AEEnet