Threat to Ohio solar dies in legislature, for now

By Luke Sulfridge on January 19, 2019

The 132nd Ohio General Assembly ended session last year without the passage of H.B. 114. This is great news for solar supporters. H.B. 114 would have harmed our ability to go solar by weakening Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

The Ohio House of Representatives passed H.B. 114 last spring. It was under consideration in the Ohio Senate but did not make it to the floor. The bill was part of a long-term effort to undermine solar and our ability to take control of where our electricity comes from. In 2014, the Ohio Legislature passed a law that froze the state’s successful Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for two years which had required utilities to get 12.5% of their energy from renewable sources by 2025.

The Ohio RPS has brought multiple economic and environmental benefits to Ohio families and businesses, including:

  • Expanding the investment in the state’s clean energy sector, creating good jobs all over the state. Currently over 100,000 Ohioans work in clean energy industries, and the state is first in the Midwest for clean energy manufacturing jobs. However negative signals by the legislature make would make Ohio less attractive to existing and new industry.
  • Saving ratepayers money and stabilizing energy costs.
  • Employers are demanding available renewable power as a factor when locating their business operations, and they are looking for states with policies that encourage clean energy.

Because of these overlapping benefits, the RPS – which was approved by a bi-partisan majority when first enacted in 2008 – is strongly supported by the public. More than two-thirds of Ohioans favor the policy, according to a 2017 poll by the University of Maryland.

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