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FirstEnergy Customers with Qualifying Projects Can Avoid Rider

April 9, 2010

FirstEnergy Customers with Qualifying Projects Can Avoid Rider

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » FirstEnergy Customers with Qualifying Projects Can Avoid Rider

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If you are a FirstEnergy customer, you may qualify for a program that will exempt your facility from paying the FirstEnergy energy efficiency rider, soon to be implemented.  Ohio law requires utilities to develop programs to help customers reduce energy use.  The utilities are able to recoup costs of these programs through a rider on your electricity bills.  If you have implemented any energy efficiency projects on your own in the last three years you may be exempt from this rider, and therefore, save significantly.

To take advantage of the savings, companies will need to work with a FirstEnergy-approved administrator.  FirstEnergy is about to begin a process to qualify administrators; OMA intends to become one.  Send an email to the OMA if you are interested in learning more.

OMA Files Comments in Electric Utility Excessive Earnings Case

December 17, 2009

OMA Files Comments in Electric Utility Excessive Earnings Case

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » OMA Files Comments in Electric Utility Excessive Earnings Case

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The OMA filed comments this week regarding the “excessive earnings” case before the PUCO urging the commission to adopt an approach that follows state law and protects Ohio’s consumers from unnecessary price spikes.  SB 221, adopted into law in 2007, created the “significantly excessive earnings test” which commands the PUCO to review an electric utility’s overall earnings when considering price increases.  If the utility is earning significantly more than peer companies, then the utility must make refunds to its customers.

While Ohio is technically deregulated, Ohio’s electric utilities still retain near monopoly control over service in their territories.  The OMA’s comments urge the PUCO to adopt a uniform test for measuring excessive earnings that follows the intent of the law in order to maintain a competitive environment in Ohio for manufacturers.

OMA Asks PUCO to Fix FE Administrator Program

December 17, 2009

OMA Asks PUCO to Fix FE Administrator Program

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » OMA Asks PUCO to Fix FE Administrator Program

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The OMA filed an application for rehearing this week regarding FirstEnergy’s “historic mercantile” program.  The program was designed to allow manufacturers who had already adopted energy efficient technologies to receive credit for those projects.  When the PUCO ruled on the program last month it eliminated the funding for administration of the mercantile program, leaving third parties, including the OMA, with no way to finance assistance to manufacturers to collect the voluminous data required by the PUCO. 

In its application, the OMA states that the PUCO’s order was unreasonable and will lead to higher costs by requiring FirstEnergy to adopt more expensive programs.  Contact Kevin Schmidt at the OMA with questions. 

OMA Raises Concerns with Electricity Rider Proposal

December 14, 2009

OMA Raises Concerns with Electricity Rider Proposal

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » OMA Raises Concerns with Electricity Rider Proposal

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The OMA sent a letter to Representative Foley this week raising concerns with his proposal, HB 301, to increase a fee on electricity bills to provide additional dollars for the Advanced Energy Fund.  HB 301 increases the current $.09 monthly fee on electricity bills to $50.00.  In its letter, the OMA states the fund’s policy goals are already being met through government mandates on electric utilities for advanced and renewable energy products.

FirstEnergy’s Rate Case Packed with Increases for Manufacturers

December 10, 2009

FirstEnergy’s Rate Case Packed with Increases for Manufacturers

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » FirstEnergy’s Rate Case Packed with Increases for Manufacturers

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On October 20th FirstEnergy filed a rate plan with the PUCO that is intended to set rates for June 1, 2011 and beyond.  This rate plan contains numerous provisions that will raise manufacturers’ electricity rates.

An example: FirstEnergy has modified its “economic development” rider to subsidize municipalities on their street-lighting bills.  Who pays?  Manufacturers.

The OMA has created the “Energy Leadership Program” as a tool for manufacturers to join together and participate in this rate case (and other cases before the PUCO that can raise your electricity bills).  Click here to learn more about FirstEnergy’s rate plan.  Click here to learn how you can do something about it. 

PUCO Puts FirstEnergy Energy Efficiency Program for Manufacturers on Hold

December 10, 2009

PUCO Puts FirstEnergy Energy Efficiency Program for Manufacturers on Hold

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » PUCO Puts FirstEnergy Energy Efficiency Program for Manufacturers on Hold

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In a recent order, the PUCO undermined FirstEnergy’s “historic mercantile” program by removing the revenue stream for third-party administrators, such as the OMA.  In its order, the PUCO stated that the revenue stream for administrators was “unreasonable.”

Ohio’s electric utilities must meet energy efficiency benchmarks pursuant to Ohio law.  The OMA was instrumental in getting placed into this law a mechanism that recognizes the energy efficiency improvements that manufacturers have already made, so that they can avoid new energy efficiency rider costs. 

FirstEnergy’s historic mercantile program was designed to give manufacturers this credit with technical support from administrators.  With no revenue stream to pay administrators (the OMA contracted with Patrick Engineering to assist members with project verification paperwork) the program has been stalled. 

The OMA is taking steps to get the PUCO to reverse its decision.  Contact Kevin Schmidt at the OMA if you have questions about this issue. 

OMA Environment Committee Materials – 11/19/2009

November 19, 2009

Energy Management 2009 Archive

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Senator Brown Hears OMA Member Input to Cap & Trade Bill

November 19, 2009

Senator Brown Hears OMA Member Input to Cap & Trade Bill

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » Senator Brown Hears OMA Member Input to Cap & Trade Bill

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This week, U. S. Senator Sherrod Brown held a meeting at the OMA offices in Columbus to listen to input from more than 30 OMA members about the Kerry-Boxer cap and trade bill.  The Senator emphasized that there is no real manufacturing protections in the bill and that is his chief interest in hearing from manufacturers.

Brown said a bill would have to have a federal financial program to help industry retool, some sort of border equalization component to level trade issues, and research & development provisions for technology development.  Additionally, he said that the bill must fund the allowances, subsidy mechanisms to shield certain consumer interests from rising energy costs.

Senator Brown noted that six industries are energy intensive and “trade exposed,” and that Ohio is potentially the only state that is prominent in all six; therefore, he said, Ohio industrial concerns are critical to passage of any climate change bill.

OMA members are encouraged to continue to communicate concerns with climate change legislation with Senator Brown

Who will Supply Parts for Next Generation Nuclear?

November 16, 2009

Who will Supply Parts for Next Generation Nuclear?

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » Who will Supply Parts for Next Generation Nuclear?

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The organization AREVA, a global leader in non-carbon energy technologies, is hosting a forum December 3 and 4 in Columbus to brief potential suppliers to the nuclear generation industry.  Mike Rencheck, CEO of AREVA NP, AREVA executives and new plant procurement managers will conduct information sessions about the opportunities for new build suppliers to its Evolutionary Power Reactor (U.S. EPR).  AREVA NP, is working toward developing and deploying a proposed standardized fleet of advanced EPRs in the U.S. 

FirstEnergy Customer? Protect Your Electric Bill

November 12, 2009

FirstEnergy Customer? Protect Your Electric Bill

Homepage » Communities » Energy Management » Archive » 2009 » FirstEnergy Customer? Protect Your Electric Bill

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FirstEnergy has recently filed a rate-case at the PUCO that will govern rates starting June 2011.  The case encompasses a wide range of issues from general electric rates for manufacturing to industrial energy efficiency programs.  These cases are perfect examples of the phrase “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”  Residential and commercial interest groups will be involved and have historically sought to have their rates reduced at the expense of industrial customers.  To protect your company’s rates, consider joining the OMA’s FirstEnergy Opt-In Group. Contact Kevin Schmidt at the OMA.