On Tuesday, May 8th, 2018, the City of Athens voters approved the passage of a carbon fee that is intended to offset the cost of carbon emissions. The vote strongly favored the carbon fee with 76% of the vote. This fee will charge members of the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) electric aggregation program a 0.2 cent per kilowatt hour of electricity used, or approximately $1.70 over month. Members can offset this fee by practicing energy saving measures within their home. The fee will help fund solar based projects at public facilities and will begin collection at a later date.
Mathew Roberts, Information and Outreach Director for UpGrade Ohio, stated, "The carbon fee is a big milestone, proving that people are willing to pay more for their electricity to directly support clean energy development in their community. However, the carbon fee that passed in Athens would not be possible without a deregulated electricity market. To attempt this in other parts of Ohio, or other states with this policy framework, means that we need to continue to highlight the value community choice aggregation can provide to growing local clean energy economies.”
"Passing the carbon fee ballot measure puts Athens, Ohio on the map for trying a unique and innovative community solar model. This sustainable strategy to grow solar in Athens is a big step forward for Appalachia, and provides a model for the rest of the country" said Sarah Conley-Ballew, Executive Director of UpGrade Ohio.
Moving forward, UpGrade Ohio will be working closely with the SOPEC to host public meetings about how, where, and when these carbon fees will be used to install solar in the City of Athens.
Questions regarding the carbon fee initiative can be directed to SOPEC at (740) 597-7955 or emailed to email@example.com