COLUMBUS, OHIO (March 31, 2016) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted with modifications stipulations to the electric security plan (ESP) for FirstEnergy’s Ohio distribution utilities. The Commission order modifies the stipulation to limit bill increases. The ESP also promotes a modernized grid and continued customer shopping for electricity. The plan will ultimately determine the standard service offer (SSO) from June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2024.
“The Commission order strikes the highly challenging balance between consumers’ interests in cost-effective electric service and the vested interests of other diverse stakeholders,” said Chairman Andre T. Porter. “Today’s opinion and order affirms Ohio’s commitment to encourage a modernized grid and retail competition.”
The Commission’s opinion and order includes the approval of the Retail Rate Stability (RRS) rider which is intended to stabilize retail rates in FirstEnergy’s service territory. The Commission has incorporated additional safeguards for consumers through enhanced PUCO oversight including regular audits and monitoring of rider RRS. In order to protect customers against price fluctuations and provide additional rate stability, the Commission has modified the stipulations to limit average customer bills. Included in the Commission’s decision, the utilities’ base distribution rates will remain frozen for the eight-year term of the ESP.
The Commission, through today’s opinion and order, reinforces retail competition in Ohio for customers, competitive suppliers and businesses through innovative technologies and complementary safeguards. The Commission directs FirstEnergy to submit a grid modernization plan to the PUCO. Advanced technologies will reinforce Ohio’s energy infrastructure, enable customer engagement through data sharing with competitive suppliers, help utilities better respond to service issues, promote energy efficiency and encourage innovation in the competitive marketplace.
Additional value for Ohio’s consumers and businesses is highlighted in this order through contributions to low-income and economic development programs including a funding commitment from FirstEnergy for energy conservation and job retention programs and the continuation of the automaker credit.
FirstEnergy has established a goal of a 90 percent carbon emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2045 and over 800,000 megawatt hours of annual energy savings through a restart of energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs. Additionally, FirstEnergy has committed to submit a plan to procure at least 100 megawatts of renewable resources.
For more information on the PUCO’s role in ESP proceedings and details of this decision, please review this fact sheet. A copy of today’s Commission opinion and order will be available at www.PUCO.ohio.gov. Click on the link to the Docketing Information System (DIS) and enter the case number 14-1297-EL-SSO.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.
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