News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Meaden & Moore

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Environment


Ohio manufacaturer and consumer groups oppose renewable energy freeze
But they also recommend some study and some changes
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
The standards that are being phased in require a share of Ohio's energy from renewable resources.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A measure to freeze the state’s energy efficiency and renewable standards is quickly moving through the Senate. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow takes a close look at the opinion of two groups that want to stop the freeze – but say changes should be made in the law.

LISTEN: Groups weigh in on energy standards

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:17)


In the recent history of reforming Ohio’s efficiency and renewable standards the opinion of two groups have played a major role in the debate: the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and the Ohio Manufacturers Association.

The standards call on utilities to get 25 percent of their energy from renewable and alternative sources by 2025. The law, which passed in 2008, also sets a benchmark of 22% energy savings by 2025.

The OCC and the OMA adamantly opposed a bill last year that would have been a major overhaul to the policies surrounding the standards. But they haven’t said much on the new bill to freeze the standards while a task force analyzes the costs and benefits.

Finally weighing in
Now, they’ve joined forces to say they feel these standards do lead to lower electric bills. But they acknowledge the types of concerns people might have going forward. Martin Berkowitz with the OCC says a cost benefit analysis is a good idea but that the state should do so without the freeze.

“Rather than changing the law now and then having a study we think that should be flipped. We think the study should be conducted by all means, and then based upon the results of that study, then look at the ways to change the law because everyone’s interested in lower consumer prices.”

And the OCC and OMA also say changes should be made to the original law created in 2008. Berkowitz believes the current policies tip the scales in the utilities’ favor and consumers end up missing out.

What utilities get to pocket
“We would say currently the balance … of the rate making process is tilted towards the utilities and that we would like to see it leveled out so that utilities are able to get their reasonable rate right of return, but that the customers are paying just and reasonable rates for their electric service.”

Berkowitz notes an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that AEP was charging its customers too much. But the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ruled that it had no mechanism in place to recoup the loss. The OCC and OMA propose the creation of an avenue that refunds consumers in the future.

Another proposal takes on the amount of money utilities can make off of consumers. Right now, the law says utilities cannot keep what’s designated as “significantly excessive earnings,” but the groups say that should be reduced so that utilities cannot keep “excessive earnings.” According to Berkowitz, the amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis by the PUCO.

He says these changes will help the office’s goal of bringing down the overall cost of energy to consumers.

“Ohioans now … are paying higher electric rates than customers in 32 other states, and we would like to see that come down. We would like to see Ohioans pay some of the lowest rates in the country rather than in the higher percentile.”

During a recent committee meeting, Democratic Sen. Eric Kearney of Cincinnati called for some type of compromise that would recognize the potential issues with the standards without abandoning them entirely. These suggestions from the OCC and OMA, according to Berkowitz, might create a path to such a compromise.

Any compromise or change to the bill might derail previously mentioned goals by the House and Senate leadership to send the legislation to the governor’s desk by this month.

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Summit County takes the Akron arena out of the sales tax equation
David should be commended for his efforts to "wake up" the politicians of Summit County and the City of Akron. However, I still don't trust any of them and I a...

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University