FirstEnergy Bailout Legislation Introduced

FirstEnergy’s plan to get Ohio ratepayers to subsidize its nuclear fleet was finally introduced this week.  The proposed legislation would require Ohio ratepayers to pay an additional $17 per MWH for FirstEnergy’s nuke plants – including plants outside of Ohio!  These subsidies would continue for 16 years.

The legislation further states that this increase would be capped at 5% of a customer’s bill.  However, anything over 5% would be booked as a regulatory deferral and collected later with interest!
Your customers in FirstEnergy’s territories will be hammered for decades by this legislation.  Anticompetitive proposals such at this need to be fought at Ohio’s statehouse.  Check out the EPO’s protecting customers webpage for tools on how to educate your customers and get them engaged.

Ohio’s Renewable and Energy Efficiency Requirements May Change (Again…)

Legislation recently introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives by Rep. Blessing and most of his Republican counterparts would effectively remove the requirement that Ohio’s electric distribution utilities meet certain energy efficiency and renewable energy benchmarks.

House Bill 114 would make all energy efficiency and renewable energy requirements permissive rather than requirements.  This makes the “requirements” optional for Ohio’s utilities.  With respect to Ohio’s energy efficiency benchmarks, it is likely that Ohio’s EDU’s will continue with the programs since they allow utilities to recover the full cost of the program plus a bonus called “shared savings” should the programs over-perform.

Customers will have some advanced flexibility under this plan.  All renewable energy goals will be 100% bypassable should a customer shop and the legislation would allow customers of ANY size to opt-out of a utility’s energy efficiency plan.

A detailed analysis provided by the non-partisan Legislative Service Commission can be found here.

Free markets have saved $15 billion since 2011

The EPO participated in a study largely funded by NOPEC and performed by the Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs that proves deregulation works in Ohio. The study confirmed that the predicted economical effect of deregulating electricity in Ohio has been successful. Between 2011 and 2015, $15 billion dollars was saved on electricity by retail customers.  Additionally, another $15 billion is expected to be saved between today and 2020.

The report credits deregulation as the driving force for cheap electricity. Deregulation has allowed consumers to shop and compare prices, creating a competitive market and decreasing prices, causing $3 billion a year in savings. Chuck Keiper, NOPEC’s executive director said, “The study will illustrate, with hard facts and numbers, that deregulation is the driving force behind the relatively low cost of electricity in Ohio.” This study is consistent with others that have found similar, positive results about deregulating electricity.

An executive summary of the study can be found here.