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Ohio’s House Bill 60 – bailing out nuclear power, will not save consumers money.

Savings from HB 6 nuclear bailout don’t add up, advocacy groups say, Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch, 9 Sep 20, 

Groups pushing for repeal of the bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear plants are challenging proponents of House Bill 6 who say the law will save consumers money. Instead, consumer and environmental groups say the legislation will add about $7 to a monthly bill.

Ohio environmentalists and consumer groups dispute the math that’s been used to justify the bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.    They say House Bill 6, passed last summer, actually will increase the cost of the average monthly electric bill a family pays by about $7, not decrease it, as backers of the law say.

Efforts to repeal HB 6 have gained momentum since the indictment this summer of former House Speaker Larry Householder, who has been charged with four others in a $61 million federal bribery and racketeering scandal tied to the legislation.

“Supporters of House Bill 6 and those that are now arguing for no repeal or partial repeal are presenting similar cost savings information that is inaccurate and incomplete,” said Trish Demeter, chief of staff of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund……..

environmentalists and consumer groups said Wednesday that those numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Take energy efficiency, for example.

Those programs carried an average monthly fee of $3.36. The programs provide homeowners and small businesses with rebates and incentives to switch out aging appliances and upgrade old equipment that wastes energy.

Based on filings with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, utilities report savings of $2.65 for every dollar invested. That means average monthly savings of $7.71 per customer, resulting in cumulative savings of more than $7 billion since 2009.

When you account for the lost efficiency savings, consumers are much worse off,″ said Chris Neme, principal of Energy Futures Group, which has worked on energy efficiency programs.

Demeter said the $1.50-per-month fee to shore up the two coal plants is supposed to end in 2030, but utilities are allowed to defer costs to operate the plants, which can be recovered later from consumers.

“Millions upon millions more (will be) coming out of Ohioans’ pockets and going to into the coffers of Ohio utilities,” she said.

The groups are calling on the legislature to consider the true costs of the bill and then repeal it.

Demeter also said repeal of the bill is necessary to begin to restore the public trust in the legislative process that’s been hurt by the scandal.

“Not repealing the bill as soon as humanly possible is sending a message the legislature is not interested in restoring that trust,” she said.  https://www.dispatch.com/business/20200909/savings-from-hb-6-nuclear-bailout-donrsquot-add-up-advocacy-groups-say

mawilliams@dispatch.com

@BizMarkWillliams

September 10, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, spinbuster, USA

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