June policy updates

By Ben Delman on June 13, 2017

The Ohio legislature is considering several bills relevant to solar and to ratepayers. We urge you to write your representatives and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) if you haven’t already. Visit: Solar United Neighbors of Ohio for more details and links to respond.

HB 114

HB 114 is still a lingering threat. HB 114 is the renewed attempt to decimate Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The bill is working its way through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The governor vetoed previous attempt to further extend the freeze on Ohio’s RPS standard last December. HB 114 goes further than that bill would have in reducing energy efficiency standards than HB 554 proposed last session.

HB 239 and SB 155

HB 239 and SB 155 seek to extend the life of two outdated power plants indefinitely, one in southeast Ohio and another in Indiana. Both plants were built in the early 1950s. Ohioans should not be forced to support out-of-date plants that can’t compete on price for energy produced with newer and cleaner technologies. Likewise, Ohioans shouldn’t have to subsidize a non-competitive Indiana plant to keep it open. Similarly, First Energy has encouraged bills HB 178 and SB 128 to prop up two more aging plants on Lake Erie that can no longer sell their power at market rates. Both sets of bills would raise fixed costs for Ohio ratepayers.

Fixed rates

Lastly, the fixed rate cases are still at the PUCO. If you are a customer of First Energy, AEP, Duke, or Dayton Power and Light, please write the PUCO to express your opposition to shifts in the way you pay for your power. These investor-owned utilities are attempting to shift more of your bill to a fixed charge, which you will not be able to control. This directly impacts how much of your bill you can reduce through solar generation, efficiency upgrades and conservation. Some utilities are proposing more than doubling the fixed charges for ratepayers.