Policy Matters Testifies to Ohio House Public Utilities Committee on Advanced Energy Fund
February 5, 2008
Eighteen states and Washington D.C. are together spending nearly $2 billion each year in public benefits funds for clean energy to help break down existing market barriers to clean energy products and services, such as lack of awareness and high upfront costs. Across the 18 states, annual funds range from $2.3 million to $440 million. The state of Ohio collects $5 million each year, through a 9 cent monthly surcharge on electric utility bills, putting Ohio at the bottom of the pack. Ohio should strengthen its Advanced Energy Fund and use it to implement a statewide outreach campaign, provide customer rebates for green products such as solar panels, develop Ohio’s clean energy supply chain, and retrain Ohio’s workers for the green energy economy. Amanda Woodrum, Policy Liaison for Policy Matters Ohio, testified on February 5 to urge state representatives on the Public Utilities Committee to consider expanding Ohio’s Advanced Energy Fund as part of Senate Bill 221. Policy Matters applauds Ohio Speaker of the House Jon Husted for proposing to invest in Ohio’s clean energy economy. However, strengthening the Advanced Energy Fund makes more sense than creating a new energy fund based on a questionable income tax increment financing scheme.