- Alan Melamed, Melamed Communications - 216-659-6300 | [email protected]
As the Ohio House of Representatives prepares to vote on HB 114, major businesses and investors representing more than 30,000 employees, call on lawmakers to vote against the bill, a proposal that they say would dismantle the states renewable energy and energy efficiency standards and create prolonged uncertainty for the business and investor community.
In a letter to the Ohio legislature, Burton Snowboards, Clif Bar & Co., IKEA North America Services LLC, JLL, Nestlé, and Trillium Asset Management, stressed the importance of clean energy standards to help businesses cut energy costs, avoid the volatility of fossil fuel prices, and stay competitive. Their letter also highlights the broader benefits to the Buckeye state.
“We recognize the significant economic opportunity presented by renewable energy and energy efficiency standards and urge you to vote against this legislation and protect Ohio’s clean energy economy,” the letter said.
In addition, a group of Ohio manufacturers and trade associations opposed provisions that would undermine Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Standard and programs that eliminate energy waste. The group included Whirlpool Corporation, Dow, Schneider Electric, Ingersoll Rand, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, among others. Their testimony stated, "We encourage you to keep Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Standard intact. Energy efficiency programs are good for all Ohio businesses and residents."
Two years ago, Ohio launched an experiment on energy policy, becoming the first state to freeze its energy efficiency and renewable energy standards. The freeze was lifted in December 2016 when Governor Kasich vetoed a similar bill, HB 554, citing the importance of clean energy standards to the business community. The business community has been vocal about their support for clean energy policies and their concerns about policy uncertainty over the last three years.
HB 114 would allow utilities to scale back their energy efficiency programs, depriving not only their customers, but all Ohioans, of valuable cost savings. It will also allow utilities to charge customers for energy savings generated in the past that provide no additional value to the customer in the present.
“This legislation will drive away economic development and clean energy investments,” said Alli Gold Roberts, State Policy Manager at Ceres whose nonprofit group has helped organize meetings between lawmakers and businesses on the issue. “We hope Ohio lawmakers heed the recommendations of the business community and protect the state’s burgeoning low-carbon economy.”