PUCO Rejects AEP’s Recession-Proofing Rider

This week, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) rejected AEP’s request to establish a decoupling mechanism authorized by House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout legislation. The PUCO determined that AEP’s proposed decoupling mechanism was not consistent with HB 6’s language since AEP proposed to decouple only from “other commercial customers.” Ohio law requires the decoupling mechanism to apply to residential and commercial customers.

The OMA Energy Group was the only party to intervene and file comments in the case, which could have resulted in new costs for all customers in AEP service territories. In their ruling, the PUCO acknowledged concerns expressed by the OMA Energy Group about the potential for AEP to double recover lost demand revenues through the decoupling mechanism and the already-authorized COVID-19 deferral.

This decision is good for customers and we congratulate OMA Energy Counsel Kim Bojko. Unfortunately, customers in FirstEnergy territories are already paying additional costs to guarantee FirstEnergy utilities can collect the same record revenue as they collected in 2018, despite lower electricity use. 7/16/2020