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In the summer of 2019, Ohio passed a bill to save its nuclear power plants. According to Forbes, these plants account for 90% of the Buckeye State’s clean energy. Critics of the bill, however, point to the fact that this also preserved coal plants in the state. Supporters of the bill explain that this was a necessary compromise to get the bill to pass, but that coal was in decline and no new plants would appear in Ohio ever again.
In contrast, natural gas is on the rise in the state. Over the past ten years, the demand skyrocketed. It now accounts for a third of the electricity generated in Ohio. Natural gas filled the gaps coal left behind. If legislators had failed to preserve the nuclear power plants, they also planned to take over the demand created. Needless to say, natural gas is displeased with the new bill. Subsequently, the oil and gas industry reportedly plan to overturn the bill by 2020 and get their growth plan back on track.
While it is easy to think of natural gas as one big corporation in the state, there are actually several suppliers. According to Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, customers often receive messages regarding natural gas choices by phone, mail and door-to-door visits. This makes it relatively easy for consumers in Ohio to switch to a new supplier and take advantage of promotions promising lower costs.
However, the OCC warns that consumers are unlikely to realize long-term savings by switching, because the costs are already historically low. Some companies may provide lower prices for two months or so, but are unlikely to sustain lower prices for longer than this. The lower cost of natural gas in Ohio compared to other energy forms has no doubt contributed to its continued growth in the state.
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