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Duke Energy Ohio's electric security plan IV

October 23, 2017

What is the role of the Commission?

In formulating its decision in a case, the Commission must balance the interests of many parties and stakeholders while adhering to its mission, “to assure all residential and business consumers access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices, while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices.”

The Commission must balance this responsibility with an obligation to ensure Ohio’s regulated utilities the ability to continue to provide adequate, safe and cost-effective services to Ohio’s consumers and continue to invest in infrastructure improvements and innovative technologies.

In every case that comes before the Commission, a formal record is created. The case record includes written testimony, public testimony and cross-examination of expert witnesses. The Commission cannot make arbitrary decisions; information that is not in the formal record cannot be considered by the Commission in formulating its decision in a case.

Working as the neutral arbiter, it is the Commission’s goal to put Ohio in a position as a leader in developing regulatory certainty, rate stability and modernized grid technologies.

What is an Electric Security Plan?

State law requires electric distribution utilities to provide their customers a default generation service. This is called a standard service offer, or SSO. An SSO may be in the form of either an electric security plan (ESP) or market rate offer (MRO). Electric distribution utilities are required to file applications with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to establish either an ESP or MRO.

ESPs establish the pricing and supply of generation service, and may include distribution system investments, grid modernization, economic development and job retention initiatives and energy efficiency measures. The PUCO is tasked with determining whether an ESP, including its pricing and all other terms and conditions, is more favorable in the aggregate as compared to the expected results that would otherwise apply under an MRO.

What is the history of Duke Energy Ohio’s ESP?

The PUCO approved Duke Energy Ohio’s first ESP in December 2008, setting gradual increases for the base price of electric generation through December 2011.

In November 2011, the PUCO approved Duke Energy Ohio's second ESP, in effect until May 2015. Under this ESP, Duke's SSO load was ordered to be provided through competitive auctions.

In April 2015, the PUCO approved Duke Energy Ohio's third ESP, in effect until May 31, 2018. The third ESP again planned for Duke Energy Ohio’s SSO load to be provided through competitive auctions.

What is Duke Energy Ohio requesting in its ESP IV filing?

In June 2017, Duke Energy Ohio filed an application for its fourth ESP, to take effect June 2018 through May 2024, with PUCO review of the plan in its fourth year.  The proposed ESP would secure all supply needed for its (SSO) customers through a competitive bidding process.

In the application, Duke requested the addition of four new riders:

  • The Regulatory Mandates Rider would recover the operations and maintenance expenses resulting from federal, state or Commission mandates that are not otherwise recovered in base rates or other riders.
  • The Incentive Rate Making Mechanism Rider would provide a credit or charge to customers based on an earnings range and the company’s actual earnings.
  • The Power Forward Rider would include the costs related to the PUCO’s PowerForward initiative.
  • The Electric Service Reliability Rider would recover incremental vegetation management expenses, including incremental operations and maintenance expenses since Jan. 1, 2017.

In this application Duke has also proposed the modification of several current riders, the elimination of two and the extension of Rider PSR beyond May 31, 2018.  

How might my bill be affected by the proposed ESP IV?

If Duke Energy Ohio receives approval of the requested distribution base rates as proposed in case 17-32-EL-AIR, and approval of the proposed rider increases in ESP IV, Duke projects customers using 1,000 Kwh per month will experience a 15% rate increase over the six years of the ESP.  Actual rate increases or decreases will be dependent on the Commission’s final decision in the case.

How can I make my voice heard?

Two local public hearings have been scheduled to allow the public an opportunity to express their views and provide testimony regarding the company’s application. The following hearings have been scheduled:

Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
MidPointe Library Middletown
125 S. Broad St.
Middletown, Ohio 45044

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, 12:30 p.m.
Cincinnati City Hall, Council Chambers
801 Plum St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

To learn how to testify at a local public hearing, please visit the PUCO website.

The evidentiary hearing in this proceeding will begin on:

Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Commission Offices,
Hearing Room 11-A
180 E. Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43215

To submit comments online:

  1. Visit the Docketing Information Systems page.
  2. Enter the case number 17-1263-EL-SSO in the “DIS Quick Search” field at the right side of the page.
  3. The results of your search will be returned, allowing you to access the contents of the case docket and submit comments on line by clicking “File a Public Comment”.

Additionally, Duke Energy Ohio customers may write to the PUCO by mail at 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Comments should include case number 17-1263-EL-SSO .

How can I learn more about the case?

Duke Energy Ohio's ESP application and case record can be viewed online by visiting the case docket 17-1263-EL-SSO.  To better understand the PUCO rate case process, please visit the PUCO website.

If you would like to know more about the PUCO or have utility-related questions or concerns, contact the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or visit us online at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.