Ohio's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Laws: The Evolution of Sub. S.B. 58


After requesting comments on the matter, Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) introduced S.B. 58 in February as a placeholder bill to review the state's energy efficiency and renewable energy requirements. A year and a half earlier, the senator co-sponsored S.B. 216 in an unsuccessful attempt to completely repeal the requirement that electric distribution utilities and electric services companies provide 25 percent of their retail power supplies from advanced and renewable energy resources by 2025.

The state's renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements were established in S.B. 221, which then Governor Ted Strickland signed into law in 2008, and were further amended as part of S.B. 315, which Governor John Kasich signed into law in 2012.

S.B. 58 was described as a five-year checkup not intended to repeal, but to review and possibly modify these state mandates. Throughout March and April, the Senate Public Utilities Committee, which Seitz chairs, held hearings on the state's energy portfolio rules.

These hearings garnered national attention when The Associated Press reported that Ohio was one of several states to have been given "model legislation eliminating the targets for renewables, dubbed the Electricity Freedom Act," by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is a national conservative policy advisory group that includes Seitz among its board members. Throughout the hearings, little opposition was voiced against the state's renewable energy rules as FirstEnergy Corp. and others focused on the bill's energy efficiency requirements. During the hearings, various organizations and local governments began to voice their opinions about changing these laws. The hearings wrapped up in May, at which time Sen. Seitz indicated that the committee would take the summer to process the information that was presented.

In late September, Sen. Seitz introduced a substitute version of the placeholder bill S.B. 58 that would "remove a requirement for utilities to buy half of their renewable power from Ohio suppliers, broaden activities that count toward energy management for large commercial and industrial power users and cap how much utilities can spend on energy-saving programs," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Witnesses began squaring off over Sub. S.B. 58 in October. That month, the debate reached the Ohio House when Rep. Peter Stautberg (R-Cincinnati) introduced the noncompetitive, companion legislation H.B. 302 in an effort to prepare the House for the Sub. S.B. 58 debate.

Based on criticisms communicated during these hearings, Sen. Seitz announced late last month that he intended to propose two amendments to Sub. S.B. 58. One amendment would allow energy savings upgrades that utilities make on their own systems to count toward the state's energy efficiency requirements, but not eligible for shared savings incentives. The other amendment would "amend language in the bill that would make it optional for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to assess penalties on utilities that fail to comply with the clean energy requirements," according to the Gongwer Ohio Report. The news service also reported that Ohio's largest utilities appear to support Sub. S.B. 58 — FirstEnergy, American Electric Power-Ohio (AEP-Ohio) and Duke Energy publicly support the bill, while the Dayton Power & Light Company (DP&L) has yet to comment. Energy efficiency had been center stage during these hearings until last week, when proponents and opponents of the wind energy industry testified and debated about the impact of the renewable energy requirement on utilities and consumers.

The Senate Public Utilities Committee accepted amendments to Sub. S.B. 58 until Friday, November 15 and will possibly have a vote on the bill Wednesday, November 20.

Below are all of the testimonies distributed during the hearings regarding Sub. S.B. 58 and H.B. 302, although the comprehensiveness of this list is uncertain.

If you have questions regarding Ohio's energy legislation, contact Dylan Borchers at (614) 227-4914 or dborchers@bricker.com.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
• <a href="http://www.ohiogreenstrategies.com/documents/johncrespoaep.pdf>John C. Crespo</a>, American Electric Power <br> • <a data-cke-saved-href=" http:="" www.ohiogreenstrategies.com="" documents="" colinmurchiesolarcity.pdf"="">Colin Murchie, Solar Energy Industries Association
Andrew Ott, PJM Interconnection
Sam Randazzo, Industrial Energy Users-Ohio
Daniel R. Simmons, Institute for Energy Research
James Taylor, The Heartland Institute
Eric Thumma, Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
David Boehm, Ohio Energy Group
Wilson Gonzalez, Ohio Consumers' Counsel
Andy Holzhauser, Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
Sam Randazzo, Industrial Energy Users-Ohio
David Rinebolt, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy
Dylan Sullivan, Natural Resources Defense Council
Susan Tierney, Advanced Energy Economy Ohio
Leila Vespoli, FirstEnergy
Jason Watkins, Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Jennifer Abram, Resident
Amber Bellamy, Resident
Jeff Bishop, EDP Renewables
Jeff Blake, Parker Hannifin Corp.
Eric Burkland and Ryan Augsburger, Ohio Manufacturers' Association
Linda Butler and Steven Nissen, Residents
Terri Dawson, Resident
Steven Giles, Hull & Associates, Inc.
Carolyn Harding, Resident
Ruth Hardy, Resident
Heat is Power Association
Brett Heffner, Resident
David Hoehnen, Resident
Lois Hornbostel, Resident
Lisa Kochheiser, Resident
Brian Kunkemoeller, Sierra Club-Ohio
Kate Melges, Greenpeace-Ohio
Steve Millard, Council of Smaller Enterprises
Grant Milliron, Milliron Recycling
Greg Pace, Resident
Al Rosenfield, League of Women Voters-Ohio
Laura Steinbrink and James Nice, Energy Avenue
Rick Taylor, Jay Industries

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Dave Boehm, Ohio Energy Group
Sam Randazzo, (plus attachment), Industrial Energy Users-Ohio
Sen. Seitz, sponsor testimony

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Trish Demeter, Ohio Environmental Council
Steve Frenkel (plus attachment), Union of Concerned Scientists
Carolyn Harding, Resident
Lois Hornbostel, Resident (Sierra Club member)
Rich Housh, Juice Technologies dba Plug Smart
Mary Huttlinger, Small Business Majority
Jereme Kent, One Energy Enterprises LLC
Steve Meizlish, Marcy Adhesives
Steve Melink, Melink Corporation and Ohio Advanced Energy Economy
Kevin Moyer, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority
Greg Pace, Fresh Water Accountability Project and Sierra Club member
Zach Roberts, Operation Free
Jason Slattery, Rudolph/Libbe and the Toledo Chamber Solar Initiative
Jeffrey St. Clair, Resident
Melinda Clause Stoltz, Resident
Eric Thumma (plus attachment), Iberdrola Renewables
Mark Wiley (plus attachment), Kastle Solar, LLC
Ronald Wyss, Resident

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Dennis Bollinger, Energy Developments, Inc.
(DSIRE) Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Lucas Dixon, Plug Smart
Ned Ford (plus attachment), Sierra Club
Craig A. Foster, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light
Tony George, George Group
Jerry Hayes, Defiance County Economic Development
Carrie Cullen Hitt, Solar Energy Industries Association
James Jacobs, American Rail Center
Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander), Ohio Senator (S.B. 34 sponsor testimony)
Robert Kelter, Environmental Law and Policy Center
Dave Mannion, Copeland Oaks
(NREL) National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Terrence O'Donnell, Ohio Advanced Energy Economy
Todd Perren, Extrudex Aluminum Inc.
Brenda Schulz, Nucor Steel Marion, Inc. and Emily Petrovich, United States Steel Corporation
Frank Szollosi, National Wildlife Federation
Bruce J. Weston, Ohio Consumers' Counsel
Amanda Woodrum, Policy Matters Ohio
Eric Zimmer, Tipping Point Energy Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Bill Blazer, Madison County Chamber of Commerce
David Hughes, Specialty Fab, Inc.
Jonathan Lesser, Continental Economics, Inc.
Al Rosenfield (plus attachment)
Support Letters (Letters submitted on behalf of various businesses)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Dale Arnold and Brandon Kern, Ohio Farm Bureau
David R. Blair, GEM Energy
David F. Ciarlone, Ohio Energy Group
Mark Fedor, Morgan Engineering Systems, Inc.
Gregory Kuss, SolarVision, LLC
Robert J. Lapp, The Timken Company
Letters Submitted in Opposition
Letters Submitted in Support
List of Sub. S.B. 58 Supporters
Ohio Manufacturers' Association
Doug Sibila, Peoples Services Inc
Sarah Smith, Van Wert County Business Outreach Coordinator
Matthew A. Szollosi, Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation of Ohio

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
James Fuscaldo, Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition
Dr. Michael Giberson, expert on his own behalf
Michael Goggin, American Wind Energy Association
Dr. Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute
Lisa Linowes, The WindAction Group
Kevon Martis, Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition
Robert W. Rand, Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition
Melissa Seymour, Iberdrola Renewables
Daniel Simmons, American Energy Alliance
George Taylor, expert on his own behalf
Tom Vinson, American Wind Energy Association


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