COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has passed legislation that would make Ohio’s renewable energy standards optional, promoting business growth in the state.
House Bill 114, sponsored by Representative Blessing (R-Colerain) reflects some of the recommendations made in a report issued by the Energy Mandates Study Committee in 2015. The bill reforms Ohio’s law on renewable energy to remove mandates, instead making them optional. It also decreases the state’s energy efficiency benchmarks from approximately 22 percent to 17 percent.
“I am a strong proponent of encouraging our energy companies to increase their use of renewable energy sources,” Gavarone said. “However, my duty is to serve my constituents and forcing them to pay a higher cost for their utilities because of a government mandate is not why they elected me to represent them in Columbus.”
Replacing these often costly mandates with goals and incentives keeps benchmarks in place for energy companies looking to increase production of renewable energy without the influence of government. This helps reduce unnecessary costs on businesses and, ultimately, consumers.
Many companies are already beginning to shift to renewable energy sources, regardless of whether mandates are in place. Therefore, House Bill 114 frees up energy markets, making it possible to achieve a positive outcome without enforcing government mandates that often prove detrimental to Ohio’s economic interests.
Among other provisions included in the legislation, House Bill 114 would allow customers and businesses to opt out of renewable energy goals without facing penalties for not meeting benchmarks on the purchase of renewable energy.
House Bill 114, which passed with bipartisan support, now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.