AEE Testifies before Ohio Senate Energy Committee, House Public Utilities Committee in Opposition to Sub. SB320 and Sub. HB554 as
Weakening State’s Energy Standards
Lame-duck session is no time to pass bill keeping renewable energy, energy efficiency in limbo for five more years, business group says
[Columbus, Ohio, November 28, 2016] — On Tuesday, November 29, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) will testify before the Ohio State Senate Energy Committee, and on Weds., Nov. 30, before the House Public Utilities Committee in opposition to Sub. Senate Bill 320 and Substitute House Bill 554, bills that would weaken the state’s energy standards by turning requirements into voluntary goals, effectively extending the investment-killing freeze of the standards for another five years, through 2021.
Throughout 2016, AEE has met with lawmakers to inform them about ways Ohio could meet its future energy needs with a diverse portfolio of resources, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, saving customers money on their energy bills in the process. At their request, and that of the Governor, AEE’s nonprofit educational affiliate, Advanced Energy Economy Institute, developed an open-access modeling tool that analyzes publicly available investor-owned utility (IOU) planning data to determine the rate impacts of different changes to the state’s electricity generation mix between now and 2027.
The model examined four different pathways for Ohio to meet its energy needs in 2027. Of the four scenarios, the pathway that resulted in the highest cost to customers was an approach similar to SB320, which maintains the existing freeze on renewable energy and energy efficiency investments. The approach represented by Sub. SB320 and Sub. HB554 could increase rates on Ohio consumers by nearly 30 percent compared to today’s cost – costing consumers $255 by 2027.
“Our modeling shows that a diverse generation mix made up of renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas would save the average household nearly $200 a year by 2027 and the state $3.3 billion a year. This would be a significant cost savings for the Buckeye state,” said Ray Fakhoury, state policy associate at AEE. “By simply ensuring that advanced energy technologies get to compete, lawmakers could save the consumers and the state through avoided energy costs.”
“The ongoing policy uncertainty in Ohio has made doing business for companies like ours particularly challenging. While we manufacture panels in Ohio, the projects we make them for are taking place almost entirely out of state,” said Colin Meehan, Director, Regulatory & Public Affairs for First Solar. “Business certainty is critical, and by removing barriers to investments to clean energy, Ohio would get the benefit of these investments right here in the state.”
“Continuing the uncertainty about the roles of energy efficiency and renewable energy in meeting Ohio’s energy needs, as Sub. SB320 and Sub. HB554 would do, is a mistake,” said Ted Ford, president of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy. “Lawmakers should take the time to consider the ramifications of today’s energy choices for the future, rather than rush the process in a lame-duck session.”
AEE works closely with state partner, Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, on energy and business issues.
About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy 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 and its State and Regional Partner organizations are active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 companies and organizations in the advanced energy industry. Visit AEE online at www.aee.net.