In 2008, the Ohio legislature passed several mandates that would help improve the energy efficiency of the entire state. Lawmakers set a goal of reducing overall power use by 22 percent, as well as increasing renewable energy use to 25 percent, by the year 2025. Now, those in the Ohio House are seeking to freeze those mandates and rollback some of the other provisions that were made into law six years ago.
The proposed legislation – known as Senate Bill 310 – would but an end to the energy efficiency standards that had been agreed upon for a two-year period. During this time frame, the energy efficiency requirement would remain at its current level of a 4.2 percent reduction, while the mandate for renewable sources would be stuck at 2.5 percent. A 12-member committee will also take a serious look at changing the standards that have been put in place, which are greatly opposed by local power companies.
This bill was passed by the House Public Utilities Committee at a 13-9 vote, and will move to the general House floor for a full vote sometime in the next week. Experts expect that the bill will move through the House successfully, essentially shutting down any attempts made by Ohio to improve its energy efficiency. Top Republicans put forth an alternate bill that would decrease the freeze time to one year, but it was rejected by House leadership.