The Ohio Controlling Board approved the request by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) to increase the agency's appropriation authority for the Advanced Energy Fund by $9 million. The board's decision provides new life to the fund, which provides grants to eligible advanced-energy and energy-efficiency projects. The revenue-generating mechanism for the fund, a 9-cent-a-month rider on the electric bills of the customers of the state's four investor-owned utilities, is set to expire at the end of this year. With that expiration date approaching, and with a popular federal advanced energy grant program also set to expire, applications for AEF funds have soared.

Prior to the board's decision, the AEF was oversubscribed, and the ODOD closed the application window for new grants. The Department is still not accepting new applications. But it says the increase in appropriation authority will help support the prorgram through the end of fiscal year 2011.