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News and Analysis

The Deregulation Debate Continues

January 13, 2023

The New York Times recently published this story, which seems to blame deregulation for increased electricity prices in several states. The story focuses largely on California’s experience and transmission costs.

Debating whether competitive electric power markets are preferred over regulated monopolies is a long-running argument in policy circles. Not too long ago, academic experts from the University of California, Berkley were offering rebuttals to attacks on deregulation.

In recent years, Cleveland State University researchers have shown Ohio’s competitive electricity markets save customers billions of dollars every year, while researchers at The Ohio State University have shown new regulated costs can offset the market savings from deregulation. 1/9/2023

Energy Roundup: FERC Investigates U.S. Power System

January 6, 2023
  • The performance of the electric grid in Ohio and other states during December’s cold spell has spurred an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). On Christmas Eve, about 1.6 million U.S. customers were without power.
  • Even one of the healthiest regional grids — that of Duke Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority — struggled during the recent winter blast, reports say.
  • FERC has withdrawn the electric transmission billing “adder” it had earlier awarded to AEP, providing some relief to AEP transmission customers in Ohio.
  • FirstEnergy failed to disclose nearly $94 million in lobbying in its support of the scandal-plagued House Bill 6 and has agreed to pay a related $3.9 million fine, reports say.

Meanwhile, Russia’s war in Ukraine has sparked $500 billion in new spending for clean energy, according to the International Energy Agency. 1/5/2023

PUCO Issues Report on Last Summer’s AEP Outages

January 6, 2023

The Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has issued a report on a series of power outages last summer in the hours following a strong thunderstorm. The OMA was among the organizations calling for an investigation.

This story by the Ohio Capital Journal notes that PUCO’s report criticizes AEP Ohio’s preparation for the event and its customer communications. While the report “largely gives the company a pass,” PUCO staff did take aim at AEP’s tree-trimming program. 1/4/2023