First Step to HB 6 Repeal: Senate Passes Romanchuk Bill

The Ohio Senate this week unanimously passed Senate Bill 10 — the OMA-supported bill introduced by Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Mansfield) to repeal House Bill 6’s decoupling provision, which allowed FirstEnergy to lock in annual guaranteed revenue at record-setting 2018 levels ($978 million).

SB 10 would also repeal the “significantly excessive earnings” provision authorized in the last state budget (HB 166). That change to the so-called SEET test had allowed FirstEnergy to combine profits across its three companies, offsetting “significantly excessive” Ohio Edison gains with those from less profitable companies, thereby avoiding related customer refunds.

Under SB 10, revenue collected under these provisions would be refunded. Anticipated decoupling costs for customers were estimated at $17 million for 2020 and more than $101 million for 2021 for all customer classes. SEET refund amounts are yet to be determined.

SB 10 now goes to the House for consideration. Meanwhile, Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) has said he hopes to bring a nuclear subsidies repeal plan (Senate Bill 44) to the floor in about two weeks and that he expects the repeal legislation to become law.

These developments and more will be covered at the Feb. 25 OMA Energy Committee meeting. Guest speakers will be Sen. Romanchuk and Attorney General Dave Yost. Register here. 2/18/2020