The Ohio Chamber urged the Senate during testimony yesterday to heed Senate President Larry Obhof’s earlier commitment to a vote in January on legislation addressing Ohio’s energy efficiency mandates. The necessity of enacting permanent changes to the mandates grows more pressing every year as the cost to Ohio businesses of complying with the law continues to climb.
All Ohio customers have paid more than $1 billion to comply since the requirements were created in 2008. With forecasts suggesting that figure could rise to $500 million per year by 2020 to fund the programs, the Ohio Chamber has asked the legislature for years to act. Meanwhile, the portfolio plans the utilities file with the PUCO to outline their compliance programs speak to what the Ohio Chamber has warned for years: the cost to reduce the same amount of electricity is increasing.
The consequences of failing to address the energy efficiency mandates will only increase in severity as the annual reductions required of the utilities, and ultimately their customers, double after 2020. To protect Ohio’s business climate, the General Assembly and Governor must find common ground and work quickly to reform the state’s energy efficiency mandates.