On August 26, 2014, the Public Utilities Commission Ohio (“PUCO”) held a workshop for stakeholders to discuss proposed rules for implementing the provision of Senate Bill 310 that requires disclosure to customers via their bills of the costs associated with the renewable energy standards, energy efficiency standards, and peak demand reduction requirements of Ohio Revised Code (“R.C.”) 4928.64 and 4928.66.

During the workshop, parties discussed, among other issues, the calculation of various costs, inclusion of gross versus net costs, definitions of the various costs, and affording the utilities time to make bill format changes. PUCO Staff will consider the feedback received during the workshop when developing proposed rules to implement Senate Bill 310.

Senate Bill 310, signed into law by Governor Kasich on June 13, 2014, freezes Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards for two years effective September 12, 2014. During the two-year freeze, a committee will study the 2008 law that required electric utilities to obtain 12.5% of their electricity from renewable sources and reduce energy consumption by 22% by 2025, among other conditions. Supporters of the bill, including many utility companies, argue that the bill will prevent higher costs due to the renewable and energy efficiency standards. Opponents state that Senate Bill 310 will reduce investment within Ohio and make it harder for Ohio to meet the EPA’s recently proposed standards (for more on this, read our June 5, 2014 blog post).

After the PUCO issues proposed rules to implement Senate Bill 310, there will be an opportunity for parties to file comments and reply comments by interested parties. Under the newly-enacted R.C. 4928.65, the Commission is required to adopt rules prior to January 1, 2015.