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Legislative Leader Says Ohio Energy Law Is '20 Years Behind'

photo of a power box
After House bill 6, grid modernization is the next hurdle for Ohio's energy industry.

For the last decade, Ohio lawmakers were locked in heated debates over how the state should address energy generation, from bailing out nuclear to rolling back green energy standards. With a new law in the books, House and Senate leaders are starting to turn their attention to a different energy debate: grid modernization. 

Grid modernization can be an umbrella term for a number of topics related to the way electricity is delivered from the power plant to a home or business.

New technologies in this field continue to develop, such as new control systems or battery storage. House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) said it's up to the legislature to make sure these new breakthroughs can fit into Ohio's code.

"There's some things in state law that holds back some of those things so we're having discussions on how to open some of these avenues up," Householder said.

Part of the debate when it comes to developing what's known as "smart grid" technology is how much of that cost should be passed on to customers.

Householder explained why he thinks people should care about grid modernization.

"We're 20 years behind in what we should do as far as laws to allow their life to be better and to properly utilize the electricity that we have in this state," Householder said.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.