You have stated in the past that extending the freeze on Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is unacceptable. You have vowed to veto legislation that would ostensibly suspend the renewable and efficiency standards into the future and we offer our highest and sincerest thank you for your stance. We encourage you to support strong standards that hold utilities accountable. The reinstatement of the RPS will provide economic and health benefits for all Ohioans.
Studies by impartial researchers have determined that Ohio’s Renewable Energy Portfolio is a victory for the state. It has helped reduce energy costs by 1-2%, led to job growth in manufacturing and solar installation, and reduced the environmental impacts of energy generation. This legislature is supported by more than 70% of Ohio Citizens.
A study by the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy and the Center for Resilience at Ohio State University showed that Ohio’s RPS and EERS standards have resulted in the creation of over 3,200 Ohio jobs. An environmental study has shown that reinstating the Ohio RPS and EERS would help avoid:
· 2,230 Asthma Attacks
· 230 Heart Attacks
· 140 Premature Deaths
· 16,900 Lost Work days.
In short, reinstatement of the RPS will show a continued reduction in energy costs, an increase of job growth, and positive health benefits for Ohio citizens.
In late November, more than 70 businesses testified in opposition to SB 320 and HB 554, including YellowLite. These bills perpetuate market uncertainty for renewable energy companies. Currently, there are more than 4,800 people employed in renewable energy in Ohio.
As a solar installation company serving all of Ohio, I can tell you that solar is the future and solar works here in Ohio. The demand for solar in Ohio is growing year after year. We are looking to expand our business, hire more people, and continue to reinvest in our business right here in the state we call home. The continued suspension of the RPS makes this a difficult, uncertain proposition.
These legislative bills are ineffective and unenforceable. The ‘goals’ that have been written into the bills are voluntary and thus not likely to ever be implemented. Competing states that border Ohio continue to expand the development of renewables, in particular, wind and solar. Our neighbors to the north in Michigan have actually increased the standards on their state RPS. Pennsylvania has installed twice as much solar energy as Ohio. Indiana has around 50% more solar. In short, our neighbors are looking to pass legislation to enhance and protect our young, growing, thriving industry.
We call on you to do what is right and use your veto power to protect our state economic and environmental interests. Veto HB 554 and SB 320.
Azam Kazmi, President, YellowLite Inc.