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Melissa English testimony on HB 6 to the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, May 8, 2019

COLUMBUS — “We especially question how the noble goals of lower bills reduced emissions will be met by defunding existing programs that have been very effective in promoting clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. According to a recent analysis of PUCO filings from 2009 to 2017, even though Ohio utility customers pay $4.10 per month for these programs, they enjoy a net savings of $3.61 per month. That’s due to the efficacy of the energy efficiency program. That equation only works because it invests people’s money in something that saves them even
more money. If lawmakers eliminate the state’s energy efficiency program, the math no longer works in customers’ favor and they end up paying $6.11 more per month than they do today. Add to that math the fact that the cost of providing renewable energy like wind and solar has fallen 69% and 88% respectively, since 2009. In the same period, coal and nuclear costs have risen 9% and 23% respectively and you can see how investing Ohio families’ money in a nuclear bailout at the expense of renewables and energy efficiency is a very bad deal for
everyone but FirstEnergy. (source: Lazard’s 2018 Cost of Levelized Energy Report.)

Why should Ohioans pay to interfere with market forces and competition that are clearly not only already improving air quality, but also saving customers money? Ohio utility customers deserve these answers, as do our lawmakers.

To sum up, we question the assertion that Substitute HB6 is the best investmentOhio could make to improve air quality and save consumers money. We oppose defunding the state’s RPS and EERS programs which actually do improve air quality and save consumers money. We oppose spreading the pain of FirstEnergy’s poor business decisions to all Ohio ratepayers. And we urge the members of this committee to vote against Substitute HB 6.

— Melissa English, Deputy Director, Ohio Citizen Action

read full testimony (pdf)