Utilities Testify to Keep the OVEC Subsidies Coming

Utility interests testified this week in opposition to Senate Bill 117, legislation that would repeal the OVEC subsidies authorized by the scandal-tainted House Bill 6. Shockingly, the utilities testified that the OVEC subsidies are in fact not subsidies since there’s a slim chance customers could some day receive a rebate.

Under questioning from committee members, it was conceded that at no time since OVEC’s creation had any customer even received a credit from the riders. The operator of OVEC — which is jointly owned by several parent electrical utilities — also conceded that the two coal plants being subsidized by HB 6 would not close if the rider was eliminated.

The OMA has led efforts to eliminate the unnecessary OVEC subsidy, which could amount to $700 million in ratepayer dollars by the time it expires in 2030. The OMA continues to work with SB 117’s sponsor, Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Mansfield), to eliminate the subsidy and protect manufacturers from unnecessary electric charges and riders. 6/17/2021