A measure to overhaul Ohio’s energy policies is on its way to the House after the state Senate held a vote very early Thursday morning. The bill would freeze the state’s efficiency and renewable standards for two years.
The standards, which have been in place since 2008, require utilities to achieve a certain amount of energy efficiency and use a certain amount of renewable sources by 2025.
When thinking about how much we are willing to do to prevent climate change, University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha wonders if we worry too much about economics alone.
Questions and comments often come up when I start talking about renewable energy. They go something like this: “I would like to install solar panels, but the payback time is just too long.” Or, when I bought a hybrid car ten years ago, friends said, “That’s nice, but how long will it take for gas savings to make up for the extra cost?”
State officials remind eligible Ohioans that they can get help managing energy costs this winter through a payment assistance program.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio says the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus allows eligible Ohioans to pay utility bills based on a percentage of household income.
Customers must receive their primary or secondary heat source from a company regulated by the utilities commission and have a total household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify.
Plans for a new natural gas-fired power plant have been announced in Middletown. The plant would employ 300-400 people for about three years of construction, and 25-30 when it is up and running in 2018.
Middletown is part of a statewide trend towards natural gas and away from coal. From November 2012 to November 2013, energy generated from natural gas in Ohio increased 16 percent, in part because natural gas prices have become competitive with Appalachian coal.
On Monday, Governor John Kasich issued a ‘statewide energy emergency’ to deal with slowdowns in propane deliveries. Weather conditions and other factors are causing problems for fuel suppliers and their customers, and the governor’s declaration will allow propane and heating oil transporters to drive for more hours and more consecutive days than current regulations permit.
Propane production is actually up in the U.S. over the last five years, so the problem isn’t a shortage, it’s getting the gas to where it’s needed.