OMA and a diverse coalition of pro-competition consumer organizations announced support for electricity ratemaking reform legislation (HB 247), sponsored by Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) and introduced this week in the Ohio General Assembly. The bill would fix statutory provisions that have cost electricity consumers billions of dollars in above-market charges.
AARP Ohio (AARP), Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC), and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) joined OMA in applauding the legislation, which will address anti-consumer provisions that date back to the implementation of Senate Bill 221 in 2008.
Three major reforms in the bill are: (1) Elimination of “electric security plans” that enable utilities to charge customers above-market prices for electricity generation; (2) Enable customers to obtain refunds of utility charges that have been collected from customers, if the Supreme Court of Ohio finds the charges to be improper; and (3) Clarify in the law that utilities and their affiliate organizations cannot own generation and, therefore, cannot layer generation-related charges on consumers’ electric bills.
OMA president Eric Burkland said: “Enactment of HB 247 will help protect manufacturers from unwarranted, anti-competitive, above-market charges imposed by electric utilities. The major provisions of HB 247 will help protect the billions of dollars of savings that customers have realized thanks to Ohio’s competitive market for electricity. Continued savings will spur economic growth, attract new business investment from manufacturers, and benefit the communities where they operate.”