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News and Analysis

OMA to Host Energy Committee Next Week

February 23, 2024

The OMA will host the first Energy Committee of 2024 next week on Wednesday, February 28th at 10 am.

Highlights include:

  • An update on the ongoing electric reliability scare, including a discussion of recent PJM activity.
  • Analysis of community solar substitute bill.
  • Discussion of pending legislation affecting electric customers: SB 143, SB 102, HB 260.
  • Special guest Dr. Joe Bowring, PJM’s Independent Market Monitor.

Gas and electric market trends. 2/21/2024

PUCO to Lift Stay on Internal HB6 Investigations

February 23, 2024

This week the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ordered the four internal investigations related to FirstEnergy and House Bill 6 to resume.

The investigations had been paused since Aug. 20, 2022 at the request of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

This week’s action may allow the U.S. Attorney time to request another extension of the stay, further delaying justice. 2/21/2024

OVEC Subsidies Dramatically Increase, $100M in the first half of 2024

February 16, 2024

The OMA’s energy experts, Runnerstone LLC, recently published a memo detailing the dramatic increase in rider costs this year, totaling about $100 million from January through June.

By then, Ohio ratepayers will have paid ~$500 million in OVEC subsidies in total, including both pre-HB6 and HB6 subsidies, with a forecast of close to $1 billion by 2030. 2/14/2024

RunnerStone LLC Publishes Memo on Community Solar Program

February 16, 2024

A memo by OMA’s energy engineering consultant, RunnerStone LLC, has been updated analyzing the latest version of House Bill 197, which would establish a community solar program that allows solar to connect to the distribution grid.

Unfortunately, the proposed legislation contains two bill credit mechanisms that would shift costs onto non-participating ratepayers.

The bill is currently pending in the House Public Utilities Committee. 2/12/2024

OMA Leads Questioning of Electric Reliability Scare

February 9, 2024

Last week, the OMA was joined by partners and members in a media briefing to provide customer perspective on electric reliability and concerns regarding overstated shortfall risks by PJM Interconnection. The event preceded a Feb. 1 joint hearing of Ohio and Pennsylvania lawmakers that examined interstate relationships within the PJM electric grid.

The OMA was successful in leading the charge questioning the accuracy of the report and offering consumer concerns that the report would expose manufacturers and others customers to significant new costs.

Coverage included mentions in Cleveland.com, the Toledo Blade, Hannah News Service, and RTO Insider.2/7/2024

Pre-Filing Registration Tool for Clean Energy Credits

February 9, 2024

The IRS recently announced the launch of the IRA/CHIPS Pre-Filing Registration tool, which will allow qualifying businesses to monetize a tax credit as provided by the federal Inflation Reduction Act and section 48D advanced manufacturing investment credit in the CHIPS Act. As reported by OMA Connections Partner RSM, the tool can be accessed at this IRS web page. 2/7/2024

OMA Questions Electric Reliability Scare; Calls for More Utility Accountability, Transparency

February 2, 2024

The OMA this week briefed members of the news media to provide customer perspective on electric reliability and concerns regarding overstated shortfall risks by PJM Interconnection. The event preceded a Feb. 1 joint hearing of Ohio and Pennsylvania lawmakers that examined interstate relationships within the PJM electric grid.

In a statement, OMA President Ryan Augsburger urged lawmakers to increase grid accountability and transparency while offering solutions to protect customers from higher costs.

Joining the OMA briefing were Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Maureen Willis; Brad Belden, president of The Belden Brick Company and chair of the OMA Energy Committee; Tim Ling, corporate environmental director for Plaskolite; Kim Bojko, OMA energy counsel; and John Seryak, OMA energy engineer and CEO of RunnerStone.

Read more in this report by Hannah News Service. 2/1/2024

Honda Expands Hydrogen Business

February 2, 2024

Honda has outlined its plan to increase the use of hydrogen fuel cell technology and expand its hydrogen business. According to reports, Honda’s joint venture with GM has begun mass production of the new Honda fuel cell system. 1/30/2024

Grants for Energy Projects at Manufacturing Facilities

February 2, 2024

Federal grants have been made available for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for small-to-medium sized manufacturers. Eligible manufacturing plants can apply to cover 50% of project costs (up to $300,000 per plant) for projects that reduce energy or emissions.

Is it worth the paperwork? OMA’s energy engineering partner Go Sustainable Energy has created this screening tool to help you determine whether you should consider the grant application process. 2/1/2024

New Incentives for Energy-Efficient Buildings

February 2, 2024

The Energy-Efficient Commercial Building Deduction is a federal tax incentive that was recently expanded under the Inflation Reduction Act. Manufacturing properties are among the facilities eligible for this incentive. For more details, OMA Connections Partner GBQ Partners has published this overview. 1/30/2024