Duke Energy is having a series of rate cases in Cincinnati and Middletown to discuss their energy provision plans for the next five years. They are shutting down their Beckjord coal plant, proposing to replace it with a natural gas plant, and negotiating the terms of their economic development fund for the New Richmond community. Please come to the hearings so you can have a say in where your money goes! Below are hearing dates/locations and talking points.

Hearings

Tuesday, 8/30 at 12:30 pm – Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Main Building, Room 342, 3520 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223

Tuesday, 8/30 at 6:30pm – Union Township Civic Center Hall, 4350 Aicholtz Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245

Thursday, 9/8 at 6:30pm – City Building, City Council Chambers, Lower Level, 1 Donham Plaza, Middletown, Ohio 45042

Friday, 9/9 at 12:30pm – Cincinnati City Hall, Council Chambers, 801 Plum Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Talking points

Duke’s energy efficiency programs have produced energy savings far above what the law requires, saving consumers money, creating jobs in Duke’s service territory, and cleaning our air. The PUCO can and should encourage Duke to invest more in energy efficiency and adopt innovative programs to capture even more savings. The PUCO also needs to play a strong role in verifying that these programs are delivering the advertised savings. The PUCO should implement a mechanism that both ensures the company won’t be harmed when it saves customers money through energy efficiency and preserves customers’ existing incentives to conserve.

Duke is proposing to retire 862 MW of coal-fired generation at Beckjord and 163 MW of coal-fired generation at Miami Fort. This is a great move for consumers, as it is cheaper, quicker, and more effective to achieve necessary emissions reductions by retiring these units and investing in cleaner alternatives, rather than by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to install pollution controls on aging coal units. The PUCO should act to ensure that those savings are invested in the most cost-effective replacement for those ~1,000 MW, which is efficiency and clean energy, not new nuclear or gas capacity.

Duke is more or less on track to meet its obligations under Ohio’s renewable energy standard, and I applaud them for that. But Ohio also has an ‘alternative energy’ standard that goes above and beyond our renewable energy standard. Energy efficiency, wind, and Combined Heat and Power are the most cost-effective options to meet both standards – much more cost-effective than nuclear or coal – so the PUCO should encourage Duke to meet both the renewable and alternative standards with energy efficiency, Combined Heat and Power, and truly clean energy like wind power.

Duke is proposing a community economic development fund for southwest Ohio that would be funded through a portion of profits from off-system sales. I urge Duke and PUCO to devote a significant portion of this fund towards ensuring an equitable transition for the communities and employees that will be economically impacted by the retirement of Beckjord and Miami Fort Unit 6. It is our obligation as a society to make sure that our transition away from coal toward clean energy is one that holds economic opportunity for every part of our state, even those parts that have been overly reliant on coal in the past. I suggest that a significant fraction of this fund be earmarked toward local clean energy programs, such as home weatherization and energy efficiency retrofits of schools, that will lower electricity bills and create jobs for New Richmond residents.

Also, the Commission should ensure that new businesses that locate to Duke’s service territory are encouraged to fully implement energy efficiency as they build out their facilities.

Questions?

Contact Natalie Fox at (614) 461-0734 x 301 or natalie.fox@sierraclub.org