Ohio legislation would delay energy efficiency standards

Back in 2008, the Ohio legislature passed new mandates that aimed to improve the energy efficiency of the entire state. The standards that were agreed upon would cut consumers' power use by 22 percent – and make one-quarter of that power come from renewable sources – by the year 2025. Now, a new bill that will be brought up to a vote in the Ohio House, Senate Bill 310, seeks to put a temporary freeze on those initiatives.

The proposed law passed the House Public Utilities Committee with a 13-9 vote, and it is expected to be brought to the general floor for debate and a vote sometime this week or early next week. The original draft had a few amendments attached, though none from top Republicans who had been working to alter the time frame of the freeze, to reduce the time period from two years to one year. That version of the bill was rejected by the committee.

If Senate Bill 310 is approved by the Ohio House, the renewable energy mandate would stay at its current level of 2.5 percent, while the energy efficiency requirement would remain at a 4.2 percent reduction, well below the targeted levels of the original law passed in 2008. The energy efficiency standards have been fiercely opposed by utility companies in the state, who do not want to see their profits decline with reduced power consumption.

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