Sub. SB 310, which passed Ohio House committee on Wednesday, May 28, is now awaiting Governor Kasich’s signature. SB 310 has been quite controversial because it rolls back many of the renewable energy requirements set forth in SB 221 (enacted by the Ohio Legislature in 2008). S.B. 221, in effort to promote the advancement of renewable energies, mandated electric distribution utilities (EDU’s) and electric services companies (ESC’s) to provide by 2025 25 percent of its electricity supply required for their standard service offers from “alternative energy resources.” Alternative energy resources – encompasses both advanced and renewable energy resources (R.C. 4928.64).
Sub SB 310 significantly modifies that mandate, among other requirements:
- Eliminates the requirement that EDU’s and ESC’s provide by 2025 up to 12.5 percent of the current 25 percent alternative energy requirement from advanced energy and extends the benchmark period by which EDU’s and ESC’s must provide 12.5 percent of their electric supply from renewable energy resources by two years to 2027.
- Freezes for 2015 and 2016, the renewable and solar energy benchmarks (required for EDU’s and ESC’s) at the 2014 level, and requires the benchmarks to resume in 2017 starting at the 2015 levels of current law.
The effect of SB 310 remains to be seen but depending on who you ask, Sub SB 310 will either free up businesses to create jobs and stop utility customers from paying higher fees or raise ratepayer’s electric bills and sabotage plans for billions in renewable energy investment.