Fight for solar in Ohio now more important than ever

By Ben Delman on July 28, 2019

Too many Ohio lawmakers don’t believe you have the right to control where your energy comes from. Their votes to pass H.B. 6 will limit our ability to go solar by ending the market for solar energy credits that help solar homeowners financially benefit from going solar. At the same time, H.B. 6 will give more than $1 billion in taxpayer money to FirstEnergy, a monopoly electric utility that operates in Ohio. Doing so further entrenches large, centralized power generation. This fight is a perfect example of how monopoly utilities rely on government handouts while doing everything they can to throw up roadblocks to their customers taking control of where their energy comes from with solar.

What the bill does

The bill legislators passed ends the requirement for Ohio utilities to source a percentage of electricity they sell from renewable sources, like solar. It immediately cuts the state’s renewable energy goal from 12.5% to 8.5% and reduces it to 0% by 2026. It also ends the law’s specific carveout for solar energy.

Utilities could meet these requirements either by generating renewable electricity themselves or by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), including from solar homeowners. Solar owners earn these credits through their system’s energy production and can use the proceeds to reduce the payback time for their solar investment.

Meanwhile, FirstEnergy will receive $150 million annually until 2027 to prop up two power plants the company claims are unprofitable. It will receive an additional $50 million to support another two unprofitable power plants, one of which is located in Indiana.

Bill will cost typical solar homeowner hundreds of dollars

Doing away with the requirement for utilities to source solar energy will effectively end Ohio’s market for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). We estimate this could cost the average Ohio solar homeowner close to $1,000 over the next decade. This is based upon an average system size of 7.1 kW and a conservative forecast of future SREC prices.

Take action

Join us in holding our lawmakers accountable for voting for H.B. 6, in fighting for the rights of solar owners all over our great state, and in ensuring that this is the last step backward Ohio takes.

It is important that our lawmakers know their constituents are watching and won’t abide bailouts for monopoly utilities. When we join together, we can ensure that those in power hear our solar voices loud and clear.

Help us hold them accountable