What's Happening In Ohio

Charge Ahead Partnership has been engaged in Ohio since the 2022 legislative session and in 2024 is advocating for Senate Bill 266 which will enact policy change that will help break down the barriers to private investment in the electric vehicle (EV) charging market. If passed, SB 266 would prevent electric utilities from owning and operating EV charging stations for the next five years unless done so through a separate, unregulated subsidiary or affiliate. These utility affiliates would be subject to the same rates, terms and conditions as private EV charging operators and cannot receive subsidized rates or other advantages from the utility parent company.

Key Provisions of SB 266:

For the next five years, prevents electric utilities from entering the EV charging market unless done so through a separate, unregulated subsidiary competing on a level playing field. 

After five years, allows for the potential of limited utility investment in underserved rural areas subject to a right of first refusal process and approval by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.

Five years after implementation electric utilities would be permitted to petition to build EV chargers as a part of their regulated business in rural “areas of last resort” that lack publicly available EV charging stations. When seeking to build EV chargers in “areas of last resort” utilities would be subject to a right of first refusal (ROFR) process, ensuring that private entities have the opportunity to serve an area prior to the construction of a utility-owned and ratepayer funded charger and would also need to receive approval from the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. This legislation has been assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee.

In 2023 CAP supported language in the Ohio Operating Budget, House Bill 33, that included provisions which would have required electric utilities who wish to compete in the EV charging market to do so through a separate subsidiary subject to the same rates and conditions as any other business in the market. These provisions would have prevented rate-basing by Ohio utilities to build EV charging stations, ensuring a level playing field in the Buckeye State’s EV charging marketplace. Both the Senate and House versions of the operating budget included similar EV charging language. Unfortunately, the EV charging provisions were not included in the final conference committee report. To read the EV charging provisions mentioned above, visit page 2496 of the “As Passed by the House” version of HB 33. While this attempt at preventing rate-basing in Ohio fell short, the progress was encouraging.

In 2022 CAP advocated for amendments to Senate Bill 307. A comprehensive piece of EV legislation with workforce and manufacturing elements, this bill also would have expanded the ability of electric utilities to enter the EV charging market using ratepayer funds. CAP hoped to see the bill amended to preserve competition in the market by preventing power companies from subsidizing the cost of EV charging stations using ratepayer funds. SB 307 remained in committee at the end of the 2022 legislative session.

CAP has also engaged on the regulatory front before the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. CAP submitted comments and reply comments to the Commission in Case Record 22-1025-AU-COI, the Commission’s investigation into the implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) Amendments implemented by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). For more information on the PURPA Amendments, view the PURPA Amendments blog post. CAP’s comments encouraged the Commission to adopt policies to drive the growth of the EV charging network by preventing unfair competition from electric utilities and addressing demand charges, two key barriers to private investment. The Commission declined to implement the federal standards in this proceeding.


Your Voice Matters. This issue can’t wait – join today!

A change in public policy is needed to meet our country’s growing EV charging needs. To date, policies have largely been dictated by power companies. And the result has been great for utility companies but not for EV drivers and utility customers. To achieve a successful nationwide charging network, private businesses and consumers must have a seat at the table. It’s time that all stakeholders – from electricity consumers and EV drivers to transportation infrastructure businesses and related industries – be heard. Now is the time for us to charge ahead!