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NAM to Congress: It’s Time to Pass Permitting Reform

April 28, 2023

Federal reform of the permitting process for infrastructure projects would make manufacturing in the U.S. more competitive, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons told Capitol Hill lawmakers this week. Meanwhile, renewable energy interests and the American Petroleum Institute have joined forces in support of permitting reform, reports say. 4/27/2023

OMA to House Panel: Strip New Utility Giveaway!

April 21, 2023

Four years after the scandal-ridden House Bill 6 was catapulted through the Ohio General Assembly, some lawmakers seem intent on providing blank checks to monopoly electric utilities.

The House substitute version of the state budget (House Bill 33) was unveiled this week. Buried in the 5,364 pages are new provisions that would allow utilities to collect unlimited costs from customers for projects deemed to be “economic development” or “infrastructure.”

The provisions would bypass existing regulatory protections that prevent utilities from over-collecting. The regulatory process already allows utilities to recover economic development and infrastructure costs, as long as regulators find the investments are “used and useful” to customers.

Kim Bojko, the OMA’s chief energy counsel, appeared before the House Finance Committee on April 20 to explain why the provisions should be removed from the budget bill. Read her testimony. 4/20/2023

OMA Webinar: Preparing for Electricity Price Spikes

April 21, 2023

In response to electricity price spikes that will hit many Ohioans this summer, the OMA will host a webinar at noon Thursday, April 27. (For more on rising electricity prices, see insight from OMA Connections Partners Dynegy, NRG Energy, and Scioto Energy.)

This special webinar is designed to advise manufacturers about strategies on how to avoid or mitigate higher electricity costs. OMA members can register at no cost. 4/20/2023

Pressure Mounts to Re-Examine OVEC Subsidies

April 21, 2023

Calls are mounting for the PUCO to further investigate House Bill 6-related subsidies for two Ohio Valley Electric Corp. coal-fired power plants.

In March, the OMA released a study that found Ohio customers will subsidize OVEC’s utility owners — AEP Ohio, Duke Energy, and AES — an estimated $850 million by 2030 if the subsidies aren’t repealed.

Now the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel says a recent procedural ruling violated PUCO precedent and prevented stakeholders from getting answers on those costs, Gongwer News Service reports. 4/18/2023

Study: Clean Energy Mandates Mean Higher Electricity Bills, Job Losses for Ohio

April 21, 2023

As utilities prepare to impose significant rate hikes soon, new research by the conservative Buckeye Institute finds electricity prices will spike further if the Biden administration is successful in reviving the Obama-era Clean Power Plan via the regulatory process.

Ohioans would see an average increase of $810 a year on their electric bills, while the Buckeye State would lose between 10,000 and 14,000 jobs, the study finds. 4/18/2023

Report: Summer Electricity Prices Will ‘More Than Double’ Compared to 2019

April 14, 2023

In a follow-up to earlier reports about forthcoming electricity price spikes — expected to hit many Ohioans beginning June 1 — Hannah News Service has published this story, which says electricity prices could be “more than double” compared to June-September 2019. This is due to recent results from market-based auctions for generation.

As a reminder, OMA Connections Partner Scioto Energy has issued this memo to help members avoid or minimize higher costs.

The firm has also published this table comparing standard service offer auction results. (These aren’t the same as total electric costs for customers since they don’t include transmission or distribution costs.) 4/13/2023

Search Begins for Next Consumers’ Counsel

April 14, 2023

The state has officially commenced its search for a new Ohio Consumers’ Counsel by posting the upcoming job vacancy. Longtime Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston announced his pending retirement earlier this year; his departure date hasn’t yet been determined. 4/11/2023

Coal Wastewater Rules Could Hasten Plant Closures

April 14, 2023

Newly proposed federal rules, unveiled last month, would regulate coal plant wastewater for the first time and could hasten U.S. coal plant closures, according to reports. 4/14/2023

Preparing for Summer’s Higher Electricity Prices

April 7, 2023

As reported earlier, electricity costs for non-shopping customers (on a utility’s standard service offer) are expected to increase 30-40% starting in June, based on recent results from market-based auctions for generation. Customers on the default service supply are urged to competitively procure their power before June 1.

To help members better understand the coming rate hikes — and to provide guidance on how to avoid or minimize higher costs — OMA Connections Partner Scioto Energy has published this memo. The firm notes that action must be taken soon. 4/6/2023

USDA Offers $1B for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Projects

April 7, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants small rural businesses — including manufacturers — to be aware of a federal grant program that pays as much as 50% of total costs for energy efficiency projects and zero-emissions renewable energy systems.

See this press release for information on the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP), which is accepting applications quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. Plan to attend the OMA Energy Committee’s May 18 meeting for further discussion. 4/6/2023