Buckeye Black Eye Part II: Ohio Energy Consumers Are Not Happy

Heads Up for HB 6 – Lets Read Between the Lines: “A consumer-funded subsidy…” Last week, Ohio legislators approved what’s

Heads Up for HB 6 - Lets Read Between the Lines:

"A consumer-funded subsidy..."

Last week, Ohio legislators approved what’s known as HB 6, a house bill that motions a massive bailout for FirstEnergy Solutions. The bill relieves two nuclear reactors that costs $150M annually and subsidizes coal power plants owned by Valley Electric Corp, all in all costing over $1 billion through 2027. 

How does this effect residential and commercial energy clients?

“A consumer-funded subsidy” 

Says API News. Starting this month, all clients will be seeing an increase in monthly energy costs to cover the bailout. HB 6 also authorizes a monthly surcharge on retail electric customers’ bills to prop up two coal-fired plants – including one in next-door Indiana. 

The API (American Petroleum Institute) is disappointed with legislature for passing a corporate bailout for nuclear and coal-burning power plants, putting the financial burden on Ohio energy consumers. 

"Something is really off here"

“Of all the deregulated states, our rate of increase in cost is by far and away the most.” says Gene Kerbs Chairman the OCC. “Everyone is unhappy” with the state of the electric industry in Ohio, according to a report issued last month by the state agency charged with protecting the interests of Ohio electric consumers. 

Noting that a majority of states have lower electric rates, the report from the OCC (Board of Governors of the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel) calls for the state legislature to form a task force to do a full-scale review of the state’s electric industry and its regulation.

Is Ohio Moving Backwards?

Ohio’s Governor, Mike DeWine, signed the bill within hours of the bill passing legislators during times where neighboring states have taken massive steps to commit to a future run on clean and renewable energy, making it evident that Ohio is taking giant leaps in the opposite direction.

“With passage of the FirstEnergy bailout bill, Ohio will be known as the state that subsidizes old, dirty, and uneconomic technologies while gutting investments in clean energy innovation,” said Dick Munson, director of regulatory and legislative affairs for Environmental Defense Fund. 

Inside climate news reported that the opponents were unable to match the political power of FirstEnergy Solutions.

“This is one of the worst pieces of energy related legislation we’ve seen,” said Dan Sawmiller, Ohio energy policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

His group was one of many across the business and political spectrum that fought the bill, a rare moment in which environmental advocates such as the Sierra Club were on the same side as the American Petroleum Institute.

But it doesn’t stop there…

FirstEnergy Solutions said it had decided to cancel plans to close the W.H. Sammis coal-fired power plant, an eastern Ohio plant that has been described as a “super-polluter.” The plant, previously scheduled to shut down in 2022, is not covered by the bailout law, but the windfall from the bailout money is improving the company’s finances enough to make moves unrelated to the nuclear plants.

“We are bailing out a corporation, a failing corporation,” while harming the growing wind and solar industries, said Rep. Casey Weinstein, a Democrat.

Don't Pay Higher Costs: The Energy Professionals Solution

If you’ve kept up to date with our blog you’re most definitely aware that Ohio’s energy issues are nothing new to Energy Professionals, previously the North American Energy Advisory. You can see previous articles, such as Buckeye Bashed: Ohio Electric Customers Taking It On The Chin and  Another Black Eye For Ohio Energy Consumers. But we don’t just blog about it, contact us to see how you can avoid raised monthly bills as a result of HB 6. 

Call 844 674 5465 for a free consultation on how to avoid increased costs

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