Strickland Energy Proposal Comprehensive; Ohio Consumers' Counsel To Look For More Consumer Protections

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Today, Gov. Ted Strickland released his proposal for energy, jobs and progress in Ohio. The OCC appreciates the comprehensive policy approach that the governor took but more can be done to protect consumers. The office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) looks forward to working with the governor and the legislature to ensure the needs of residential customers are met.

The OCC believes a 25 percent requirement - that is fully renewable - is an attainable goal by 2025. Renewable energy does not have any fuel costs associated with it and can contribute towards stabilizing prices and being a sustainable option for current consumers and our future generations.

Today, Gov. Ted Strickland released his proposal for energy, jobs and progress in Ohio. The OCC appreciates the comprehensive policy approach that the governor took but more can be done to protect consumers. The office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) looks forward to working with the governor and the legislature to ensure the needs of residential customers are met.

"The energy efficiency, advanced metering and demand response elements of the governor's proposal will benefit consumers and work to keep their costs under control," said Janine Migden-Ostrander, Consumers' Counsel. "But the OCC has concerns with the way utilities could increase rates, especially for new power plants, expensive pollution control equipment and increases in distribution costs to improve infrastructure. Ohio consumers could pay hundreds of millions of dollars in the long run. We need to examine the details of this proposal and we will be making suggestions that will be in the best interest of residential consumers."

The OCC also addressed the governor's proposal for an advanced energy portfolio standard that will require 25 percent of the electricity generated in Ohio to come from advanced energy initiatives such as wind, solar, clean coal and nuclear by 2025. Half of this generation requirement will need to come from renewable energy.

"This is a good step and we encourage the governor and the legislature to look at a more significant role that renewable energy can play," Migden-Ostrander said. "The OCC believes a 25 percent requirement - that is fully renewable - is an attainable goal by 2025. Renewable energy does not have any fuel costs associated with it and can contribute towards stabilizing prices and being a sustainable option for current consumers and our future generations."

As the OCC closely examines the details of Gov. Strickland's proposal to determine the impact it will have on consumers, it looks forward to participating in the process in the months ahead.

About the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel
The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC), the residential utility consumer advocate, represents the interests of 4.5 million households in proceedings before state and federal regulators and in the courts. The state agency provides information and responds to consumers' questions about their electric, natural gas, telephone and water services. To receive utility information, request brochures or schedule a presentation, residential consumers may call 1-877-PICKOCC (1-877-742-5622) toll free in Ohio or visit the OCC website at http://www.pickocc.org.

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