Ohio lawmakers again attempt o - Smart Energy Decisions

April 5, 2017

Ohio businesses band together against energy bill

Amid debate within the Ohio Legislature over a new bill aimed at rolling back renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, a group of major businesses and investors have called on lawmakers to vote against the bill. 

The group, organized by Ceres, say H.B. 114 would dismantle the state's renewable energy and energy efficiency standards and create prolonged uncertainty for the business and investor community. The House of Representatives passed the bill through in late March. 

The bill represents an attempt by a faction of the Ohio Legislature that supported a similar bill in late 2016 that would have made the standards, which had been frozen since 2014, optional. Many of the same businesses and investors opposed that bill and Gov. John Kasich vetoed it Dec. 27, 2016. 

The group of businesses and investors, according to Ceres, represent more than 30,000 employees and include Burton Snowboards, Clif Bar & Co., IKEA North America Services LLC, JLL, Nestlé and Trillium Asset Management. In a letter to state lawmakers, the group stressed the importance of clean energy standards to help businesses cut energy costs, avoid the volatility of fossil fuel prices, and stay competitive. 

"We recognize the significant economic opportunity presented by renewable energy and energy efficiency standards and urge you to vote against this legislation and protect Ohio’s clean energy economy,” the letter reads.

In addition, a group of Ohio manufacturers and trade associations opposed provisions that would undermine Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Standard and programs that eliminate energy waste, Ceres said in a March 30 statement. The group included Whirlpool Corp., Dow, Schneider Electric, Ingersoll Rand, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, among others. 

Ceres said H.B. 114 would allow utilities to scale back their energy efficiency programs, depriving not only their customers, but all Ohioans, of valuable cost savings. According to the sustainability nonprofit, it would also allow utilities to charge customers for energy savings generated in the past that provide no additional value to the customer in the present.

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