Ohio energy bill predicted to hike electric costs

JULIE CARR SMYTH AP Statehouse Correspondent Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A fast-moving energy proposal is drawing opponents including environmental groups and Ohio's utility consumers' advocate who estimate the measure could add $175 a year to the average Ohioan's electric bill.

The bill sponsored by Senate Public Utilities Chairman Bill Seitz (syts) had stalled before Thanksgiving. A revised version is scheduled for a hearing and possible floor vote Wednesday.

Seitz touts significant changes he's made to the measure to garner needed committee support. That includes removing a divisive provision that would have allowed power companies to opt out of a requirement to meet alternative energy mandates with wind, solar or other renewables produced in Ohio.

Ohio Consumers' Counsel Bruce Western says other provisions allowing utilities to pass on lost revenues and shared savings make it a bad bill for consumers.