Ohio House passes bill to change renewable energy mandates

Published: Mar. 31, 2017 at 1:02 PM EDT
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The Ohio House of Representatives Thursday passed House Bill 114, which aims to help businesses grow by making Ohio's renewable energy mandates optional. It also decreases the state’s energy efficiency benchmarks from 22 percent to 17 percent.

House Bill 114, sponsored by Representative Blessing (R-Colerain) reflects some of the recommendations made in a report issued by the Energy Mandates Study Committee in 2015.

“While I wish this bill went further, this is a good start down the path of affordable utility bills and a recognition that existing sources such as natural gas, coal, and hydroelectric power are abundant, cost-effective, and essential to our economic future,” said Rep. Thompson.

Thompson continued:

"Replacing these often costly mandates with goals and incentives keeps benchmarks in place for energy companies looking to increase production of renewable energy without the influence of government. This helps reduce unnecessary costs on businesses and, ultimately, consumers.

Many companies are already beginning to shift to renewable energy sources, regardless of whether mandates are in place. Therefore, House Bill 114 frees up energy markets, making it possible to achieve a positive outcome without enforcing government mandates that often prove detrimental to Ohio’s economic interests"

Among other provisions included in the legislation, House Bill 114 would allow customers and businesses to opt out of renewable energy goals without facing penalties for not meeting benchmarks on the purchase of renewable energy.

House Bill 114, which passed with bipartisan support, now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.