The following was featured April 23, 2014 in the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy Bulletin, written by its President and CEO, Ted Ford.

“We can’t go back.”

Governor John Kasich made that statement at the swearing in of new PUCO Chairman Tom Johnson last week. He was referring to the deregulation of Ohio’s electricity markets and the decision by Ohio’s public utilities to move away from the competitive generation market and focus on their regulated distribution and transmission businesses which offer guaranteed rates of return. He’s right – we can’t go back now. In fact, we need to move quickly to diversify our sources of generation and use electricity more efficiently. That is precisely why the state needs to steer clear of SB 310, which would repeal energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced energy standards going forward. In their filings with the PUCO, Ohio’s investor-owned utilities have themselves reported cost savings from energy efficiency programs of over $1 billion between 2009-2012, and they project savings over 10 years at about $4.1 billion. All against costs of approximately $500 million – a huge return on investment. Just as we cannot go back on electricity market deregulation, we cannot go back on energy standards that are a proven hedge against higher electricity costs.

If you have not already done so, get in touch with your State Senator immediately and tell her or him to oppose SB 310. All Senators are back home in their districts until May 7, so reach out to them at home.