- Despite the just-passed revision to Ohio's 2008 renewables mandate allowing utilities to freeze renewables and efficiency programs through 2017, American Electric Power, Duke Energy, and Dayton Power & Light will continue providing incentives. Only FirstEnergy is expected to suspend programs.
- FirstEnergy, along with business groups and large manufacturers like Timken and Alcoa, backed Senate Bill 310 on the grounds that utility programs to push electricity usage cuts are redundant to free market drivers and too expensive, while the other utilities largely stayed out of the political fight.
- Consumer, business, and environmental coalitions who opposed the freeze on the grounds that the efficiency programs save more than they cost and the renewables mandate produced over $1 billion in investments hope this utility reaction will sustain those economic benefits.
The key feature of the new law, which was opposed by the American Lung Association, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Moms Clean Air Force in Ohio, is that each utility can choose its own response.
SB 310 creates a legislative committee that could recommend permanently amending or freezing the mandate requiring the IOUs that serve most of Ohio's consumers to provide renewables and efficiency. The Natural Resources Defense Council predicted SB 310 would have to be revised to comply with the proposed EPA emissions reduction rule.
AEP said its energy efficiency programs, which cost $78 million last year and were paid for by customers through a bill charge of about $3 per month per typical household, will be unchanged and continue to provide incentives. AEP also said its long-term contracts for solar and wind generation, designed to comply with the renewables mandate, will remain in place despite the freeze.