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Duke Energy Ohio 2017 electric distribution rate case

April 4, 2017

What are distribution rates?

The distribution rate covers the cost of delivering electricity to your home or business. Distribution rate pays for things such as the cost of installing and maintaining the electric lines that run through neighborhoods, reading electric meters, processing bills and taking customer service calls.

What is the PUCO’s role in setting electric distribution rates?

Under Ohio law, a public utility is allowed to recover from customers its operating expenses, plus a reasonable return on its infrastructure investments. When a utility requests a rate increase from the PUCO, several steps are taken to review the company’s financial condition and ensure the company is fulfilling its obligations to customers.

When evaluating the company’s application, the PUCO examines whether the proposed rates will provide the company with adequate operating revenue. In general, the cost of providing service to customers, maintenance of infrastructure and equipment expenses, depreciation expense, taxes and a return on the company’s infrastructure investment are used to calculate the company’s revenue requirement. PUCO staff prepares a report that makes recommendations to the Commission. The Commission is not bound by the staff recommendations and may implement some suggestions and reject others.

What did Duke Energy Ohio request in its application?

On March 2, 2017, Duke Energy Ohio submitted an application to increase its rates for electric distribution service. Duke Energy Ohio proposes to increase annual revenues by $15.4 million, or less than one percent, over current revenues. The company proposes to establish a rate of return of 7.82 percent.

Duke Energy Ohio also proposes the following new tariff schedules:

Rate LED, LED Outdoor Lighting Electric Service

  • “To provide any customer with the ability to obtain lighting for outdoor roadway and other land use areas with company- owned, pole-mounted, automatically controlled, LED technology fixtures, using unmetered electric service based on the calculated annual energy usage for each luminaire's lamp wattage plus ballast usage, as well as the number of lamps and other LED system particulars, as will be set forth in a written agreement between the customer and company.”

Regulatory Mandates Rider (Rider RMR).

  • “To provide the company with timely recovery of costs to comply with legislative or regulatory mandates.”

How might my bill be affected?

Duke Energy Ohio proposed to increase the fixed customer charge while reducing the volumetric portion of distribution rates. 

According to the company's application, the average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) would experience a monthly bill increase of $1.15. A full list of typical bill impacts can be found in schedule E-5 of the company's application.

How can I make my voice heard?

Duke Energy Ohio customers may write to the PUCO online or by mail at 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Correspondences should include the case number 17-32-EL-AIR.

The PUCO will schedule local public hearings throughout the Duke Energy Ohio service territory in the near future.

How can I learn more?

Duke Energy Ohio's application and the case record can be viewed online by visiting the case docket for 17-32-EL-AIR.