Following the 133rd General Assembly’s frustrating inability to take meaningful action to repeal House Bill 6, Select Committee on Energy Policy & Oversight Ranking Member David Leland (D-Columbus) is proposing legislation on day one of the 134th General Assembly aimed at breaking the logjam. This legislation combines House Bill 772 from the 133rd General Assembly with a groundbreaking, market-based, consumer-driven Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) program.
“We have to repeal House Bill 6 – the product of what the FBI calls the largest bribery scandal in Ohio history,” said Rep. Leland. “This is an innovative approach that will save consumers billions of dollars. It repeals the costly corporate bailouts, it saves consumers money on energy usage without resorting to mandates, and it breathes new life into Ohio’s green energy economy”
According to the attached memo from the Legislative Services Commission, the repeal and refund portions of this bill alone would save consumers $2.93 billion in the coming years. As EWR programs become more competitive, this bill will likely save Ohioans much more than that.
The bill, titled The Competitive Energy Reform Act, does the following:
1. Repeals and refunds the provisions of House Bill 6 that cost consumers money:
- Repeals and refunds the nuclear subsidies.
- Repeals and refunds the solar subsidies.
- Repeals the OVEC coal plant subsidies.
- Repeals decoupling and provides refunds.
- Repeals the changes to the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
- Repeals any actions taken by PUCO to implement HB 6 and refunds all charges collected.
2. Creates Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) programs, which can provide meaningful energy savings to Ohio’s consumers and small businesses without a mandate.
- Innovative businesses can become eligible EWR program providers, and may compete for customers. Competition will result in lower costs and improved customer services.
- Electric distribution utilities are ineligible to provide programs. There are no decoupling costs and no shared savings with EWR programs.
- Participating in the EWR programs is a choice – any customer can opt-out – unlike any of the bailouts in HB 6.
- Customers will have the ability to purchase their transmission from competitive providers at market price, opening new cost-saving opportunities.
“This legislation represents a consumer choice- and free market-driven approach to addressing House Bill 6,” said Rep. Leland. “The Energy Waste Reduction program isn’t picking winners and losers in the Ohio economy – its goal is to reduce energy consumption however that energy is generated. Environmentally, the cleanest Kilowatt of energy is the one that isn’t used.”