Rep. Strahorn: Energy Freeze Jeopardizes Economic Investment, Costs Consumers
Ohio to become first state to move backward on energy efficiency standards
May 29, 2014
 
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On Wednesday, State Rep. Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) voted against Senate Bill 310, legislation to suspend Ohio’s—by most accounts, successful—advanced energy standards. The bill makes Ohio the first state to reverse Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) by eliminating targets for advanced energy and freezing targets for renewable energy.


“I am extremely disappointed that this bill was passed today,” said Rep. Strahorn. “Consumers are now faced with paying more for utilities than they have the past six years with the energy efficiency standards in place. There will be no help for consumers looking to invest in the energy efficiency of their homes. My constituents have voiced their concerns over this bill for several months and now, unfortunately, they will see their rates increase over the next two years.”


Recent estimates project that Ohio ratepayers will pay up to $150 for the two years that the energy efficiency standards are on hold. Commercial customers face an average of $31,000 more than their current rates. Overall, freezing the state’s advanced energy standards could undercut $6 billion in potential capital investment in the state.


“This not only affects consumers, it also affects Ohio’s growing economy,” said Rep Strahorn. “Businesses have been investing in renewable energy, in Ohio, since the passage of the renewable portfolio standards. SB 310 will cost businesses thousands of dollars and make Ohio a less desirable state for investors.”


In 2008, the Ohio legislature passed RPS with overwhelming bipartisan support. Over the past six years, these energy standards helped create thousands of jobs and saved Ohio ratepayers $1.03 billion with over $4 billion in potential savings projected over the next 10 years. A study by FirstEnergy estimated that consumers save two dollars for every dollar spent on energy efficiency standards.


“If they want to study it, study it! But they should wait until they find something that needs fixing instead of fixing things that aren’t broken,” continued Rep. Strahorn.


The controversial bill was widely expected to pass the House last week, but the bill was pulled from the committee schedule at the last minute. After struggling to find support from their members, the GOP pushed the bill through committee Tuesday.

 
 
 
  
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House Dems Respond To GOP's Proposed Wage-killing Unemployment Restrictions

 

The Ohio House Democratic Caucus today responded to the newly unveiled GOP unemployment compensation bill that freezes unemployment compensation for ten years, increases unemployment insurance tax rates from .02 to .03 percent for employers, and adds a new ten-percent tax on employees.

“As Americans we believe in getting paid for the work you do. But now, after helping to build our bottom line in Ohio, working people will take home less pay for doing the same job under this legislation,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “That’s wrong.”

The legislation also reduces the amount of time a person remains eligible for unemployment insurance by two weeks, from 26 to 24.

“An automatic pay cut is not what most families and people have in mind when I talk to them about the priorities at their statehouse,” added Leader Strahorn. “People are concerned about owning a home, sending kids to school and trying to save what they can to get ahead.”