This past October, Friends Fiduciary joined with other investors and businesses in voicing our support for existing Ohio renewable energy standards. Most likely coming up for a vote this month, House Bill 114 would lower Ohio’s renewable energy portfolio standards from 22.5% to 17% by 2027, weaken standards for efficiency improvement and allow customers to opt out, weakening Ohio’s commitment to a transition to a low carbon economy. We were joined by companies with operations in Ohio who see the benefits of clean energy, including Ikea, Gap, Clif Bar, and Nestle.
As stated in the letter, “Clean energy standards help businesses cut energy costs, avoid the volatility of fossil fuel prices, and help us stay competitive. They also help us plan ahead and make sound investment decisions into the future.” Ohio’s renewable energy policies have swung back and forth over the past several years, making it “difficult for companies in our supply chain to plan for the future and invest in Ohio,” according to Elysa Hammond, VP of Environmental Stewardship at Clif Bar. HB 114 is the latest in a long line of attempts to roll back renewable energy standards in the state.
The letter outlines the many benefits that the existing standards have brought to the Ohio economy—an estimated $160 million in annual GDP growth and over $5 billion in savings for ratepayers, not to mention the business it attracted. Just recently, Facebook announced a data center in Ohio, citing “the availability of renewable energy sources” as “critical to the decision.”
We see renewable energy standards as crucial to positioning Ohio for success in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and urge state legislators to consider the economic benefits of renewable energy standards before turning back the clock.
Read the letter here.