The COVID-19 pandemic kept weatherization crews out of the field completely for three months, and it took a while to ramp back up. We were also dealing with a disrupted refrigerator and freezer supply chain prior to the pandemic; with COVID-19, the supply chain ruptured.
The upshot is that member agencies will not be able to spend all the utility funds available this year to deliver efficiency services to Ohio’s most vulnerable families. Many of the companies have agreed to carryover funding. However, because of HB 6, the AEP Ohio and DP&L programs must terminate on December 31, and unspent money already collected would be returned to customers through a bill credit. OPAE estimates $3.3 million remains available through the two programs.
OPAE has been working with legislators to secure emergency legislation that would allow us to carryover the unspent funding. The provision is structured as amendments, and OPAE is looking to attach the amendments to a relevant legislative vehicle.
Support for the amendments is bipartisan and includes members of leadership. The question is, will there be a bill it can be attached to? Expect an answer soon after the lame-duck General Assembly returns to work after the election. We will let you know how you can help when the time comes.