Manufacturers Urge Utility Law Reform

The OMA and a member company this week urged the House Public Utilities Commission to reform electric utility laws that are taking billions of dollars out of consumer pocketbooks.

OMA energy counsel Kim Bojko debunked various claims that utilities have made to the committee over previous hearings on HB 247 (Romanchuk, R-Mansfield). She testified: “HB 247 furthers many of the original objectives of the deregulation bill passed in 1999. It promotes competitive electric markets and ensures effective competition by avoiding anticompetitive subsidies …10 years later, the market has developed and competition is working and saving customers billions of dollars. … it is time to move forward and allow the markets to work without government intervention and without above-market charges imposed by regulated utilities.”

Geoff Korff, President, Quaker City Castings, urged the committee to support the bill, saying that current law “allowed for utilities to seek and obtain approval for a whole host of above market, non-bypassable charges on customer bills. These charges are disrupting customers’ ability to save money by shopping their electric loads. My own company has seen its distribution rates increase by 34% in the past three years while my generation rates have come down.

“Passing HB 247 will improve the state’s competitiveness by allowing customers to take advantage of the innovative offerings the competitive market is developing without being encumbered by various non-bypassable charges that do little to nothing to benefit customers.” 1/18/2018