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Government & Politics

Ohio Senate Makes Big Changes to Energy Bill

A photo of Perry Nuclear Power Plant
The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Lake County is one of two nuclear plants in Ohio that FirstEnergy Solutions plans to close unless it sets financial subsidies from the state legislature. The other is Davis Besse near Toledo.

The Senate has made big changes to the energy bill that could bail out Ohio’s nuclear power plants. Along with nuclear subsidies, a Senate committee has restored standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency--for now.

The changes mean a residential ratepayer would pay 80 cents a month on their electric bill. That, along with higher charges for commercial and industrial ratepayers, would give Ohio’s nuclear plants about $150 million.

The Senate’s plan would keep the requirements for utilities to use a certain percent of renewable energy but lower the final benchmark six years from now. 

It also puts energy efficiency standards under review in two years and changes the policies that encourage more savings.

Subsidies are also in place for the coal plants known as OVEC, but charges are capped at $1.50 instead of $2.50. That rate will be determined by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Several groups said they were looking over the new language and did not want to comment yet.