Capacity auction reveals Ohio’s backslide on energy efficiency

Photo by gerry_btr / Creative Commons

COLUMBUS — “The impact of a decision by Ohio lawmakers to weaken state energy efficiency requirements was clearly reflected in the results of a recent capacity auction, analysts say.

The amount of energy efficiency from Ohio utilities that cleared the most recent capacity auction by grid operator PJM is down 30 percent from three years ago, before lawmakers froze the state’s energy efficiency standard for two years and relaxed criteria for what counts under the law.

In contrast, the total amount of energy efficiency that cleared this year’s auction for 2020/2021 was 27 percent higher than the amount that cleared three years ago for 2017/2018. PJM announced the results on May 24.

The disparity raises questions about what ratepayers might have recouped through the auction but for Senate Bill 310, which took effect in September 2014.

‘Policy changes in Ohio in recent years have made it much more difficult for Ohio-based energy efficiency programs to bid into the PJM auction,’ said Martin Kushler of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.”

— Kathiann M Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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