The Ohio House of Representatives Alternative Energy Committee voted in favor of a bill that would extend the Department of Development's Advanced Energy Fund, set to expire on December 31, by three years. The bill, an amended version of House Bill 301, would gradually reduce the value of available grants under the program, while maintaining the fee that funds the AEF at its current level, a uniform 9 cents per month on the electric bills of the state's four, investor-owned utilities (AEP, Duke, FirstEnergy and DP&L). Details on the earlier version of the bill, which would have greatly expanded the program, are available here.
The committee vote was 11-6 with all of the Democrats on the committee, chaired by Rep. Ted Celeste (D-Grandview Heights), and two Republicans (Reps. Clyde Evans of Rio Grande and Jay Hottinger of Newark) voting "yes," and the rest of the Republicans on the committee voting "no." The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland), is expected to be taken up by the full Ohio House, but there is very little indication at this point that the state Senate is inclined to do so as well.