Newsletter - October 2018
A Roadmap to Ohio's Electricity Future
What people are saying about the PowerForward Roadmap
PowerForward: A Roadmap to Ohio’s Electricity Future was released on August 29—see what energy and regulatory experts have been saying.
“A new roadmap for the future of Ohio’s electric grid can benefit all types of interest groups, but the next few years will be critical for the plan to achieve its goals.” | Energy News Network
“The new roadmap, product of a year-long business model investigation, aims to create a level playing field for innovation on the utility distribution system.” | Utility Dive
“After more than a year of planning, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has unveiled its PowerForward report, a roadmap to the modernization of Ohio's power grid.” | Columbus Business Journals
“A wave of change is coming in the ways consumers and businesses use electricity — think electric vehicles or batteries that store electricity — and state utility regulators want to be ready.” | Columbus Dispatch
“The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Wednesday released a sweeping grid modernization program that covers issues as disparate as electric vehicles and cybersecurity.” | American Public Power
Next steps for PowerForward - the Collaborative and Working Groups
The PUCO issued an order to establish the PowerForward Collaborative, and its subgroups, the Distribution System Planning Working Group (PWG) and the Data and Modern Grid Workgroup (DWG).
The PowerForward Collaborative is an overarching workgroup of utility stakeholders, and will be led by the PUCO staff. The Collaborative is tasked with observing the marketplace development to ensure PowerForward’s objectives of bringing innovation to the electric distribution grid are being fulfilled.
The Commission ordered that the first meeting of the PowerForward Collaborative will be Dec. 6, 2018, at the PUCO offices in Columbus. Interested persons are encouraged to enroll in PowerForward email update lists to receive future correspondences regarding the PowerForward Collaborative.
PUCO orders utilities to reduce rates due to tax cuts
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ordered Ohio’s regulated public utilities to file applications to reduce their rates due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA).
The Commission ordered electric, natural gas, water and wastewater utilities whose rates are regulated by the PUCO and serve more than 10,000 customers to file an application by Jan. 1, 2019 to reduce rates. Specifically, utility applications should address how to reduce base distribution rates, rider rates and accumulated deferred income taxes.
Many utilities, including AEP Ohio and Dayton Power & Light, have already reduced certain riders, or adjusted base distribution rates through recently approved rate cases.
Hazardous materials training grants awarded
The PUCO approved sixteen hazardous materials training grants totaling $231,029.19.
The PUCO awards hazardous materials planning and training grants to local government subdivisions, educational institutions and state agencies in Ohio. Money for these grants comes from fines paid by hazardous material carriers and shippers. Individual grants are based upon applications to the PUCO and are awarded on a reimbursement basis.
Ohio 811 consolidation
The Ohio Utilities Protection Service (OUPS), in collaboration with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and the Ohio Gas Producers Underground Protection Service (OGPUPS), are announcing the consolidation of Ohio’s two utility protection services under the unified OHIO811 trademark. “Call Before You Dig” just became easier for Ohio’s excavators and homeowners, increasing public safety and the protection of the state’s critical underground utilities infrastructure.
Ohio’s Revised Code requires that ALL excavation contractors, property owners, or utility operators planning an excavation project must notify local utilities a minimum of 48 hours, but no more than 10 working days, prior to beginning any excavation. Now, a single call to 8-1-1 or a visit to OHIO811.org will insure that affected member utilities as well as those members owning, operating and maintaining oil and gas production facilities are properly notified of planned excavations.
The Unified Carrier Registration Plan (UCR) launched its new national registration system on October 1, 2018. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has decided to adopt this system as Ohio’s official portal for filing annual UCR registrations. Starting with the 2019 UCR registration year, Ohio based interstate motor carriers subject to UCR registration requirements will be required to use www.ucr.gov to file their annual UCR application.
As you may know, the UCR registration period runs from October 1 through December 31, for an upcoming registration year. However, the UCR Board of Directors is delaying the start of the 2019 registration period while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completes the rulemaking process for 2019 fees.
Due to the rulemaking delay, your company is not required to file an annual UCR application for 2019 until new fees have been determined by FMCSA. You will receive sufficient time to comply before registration enforcement begins. Updates regarding the 2019 UCR registration can be found at https://plan.ucr.gov/.
PUCO receives perfect inspection score
Between the months of July and August, the PUCO was evaluated by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). For the second year in a row, the agency has received a perfect evaluation score of 125 of 125 possible points. Congratulations to Pete Chace and his team in gas pipeline safety for a job well done!
Also check out:
Mohammed Ahmed joined the PUCO where he serves as the executive transmission advisor to the chairman. Mohammed has over thirty-five years of experience in the transmission and power system planning arena.
Request a PUCO speaker at your next event
PUCO representatives are available to speak to your organization on a variety of topics including energy conservation, understanding your utility bill and comparing energy suppliers. Requesting a speaker is easy: contact us at (614) 466-7750 or fill out an online request here.
Nov. 15, 26 & 28 - Vectren rate case public hearings
Winter Reconnect Order
Energy utility service is vital, especially in the winter. The Winter Reconnect Order is an opportunity for Ohioans to avoid disconnection or to reconnect their gas and/or electric service once during the winter heating season. Find out more about the order here.
Energy Efficiency Month
The PUCO and the Ohio Development Services Agency are partnering during Energy Efficiency Month to educate Ohioans on how to better manage their energy use. Read more about energy efficiency here.