|September 3, 2013|
Previously published on August 30, 2013
Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) recently provided a glimpse of what to expect when he drops a substitute bill making changes to the state’s renewable and advanced energy portfolio standard this fall.
The revised code currently requires that 25 percent of the electricity sold by each utility or electric services company be generated from alternative energy sources by 2025. Additionally, utilities are required to implement energy efficiency programs to achieve a 22 percent reduction in usage by 2025. Seitz said his bill will not make changes to these benchmark requirements.
Seitz does intend to remove the requirement in current law that one half of the renewable energy benchmark must be generated at facilities located in Ohio. He said a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision indicates the preference in current law violates the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution. Instead, language will be included that requires that the renewable energy generated is in fact deliverable to the state.
While he will not propose scrapping the energy efficiency standard, Seitz will propose a cap on the amount utilities must spend per year to satisfy the requirements. Additionally, he intends to allow industrial customers the opportunity to opt-out of energy efficiency programs. These large payers of energy efficiency riders argued during committee hearings earlier this year that they are already incentivized to reduce consumption to reduce operational costs.
Substitute bill language will be released this fall. The proposal is expected to face lively debate in the coming months.