Utilities Lobby to Undo Deregulation Law, Add Costs for Customers

This week at the Statehouse, representatives from Ohio’s electric distribution utilities appeared before a House panel in support of House Bill 247. Sponsored by State Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk), HB 247 seeks to further erode Ohio’s deregulation law, exposing customers to new costs from riders that would pay for electric car charging stations and other enterprises that would compete with unsubsidized businesses.

During his questioning, State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) noted that under House Bill 6 — the nuclear bailout law approved this summer — utilities were successful at including language allowing them to overcome provisions in existing law that prohibit utilities from selling generation.

Under Ohio’s sweeping deregulation law of 1999, regulated monopoly distribution utilities are restricted to only delivering electricity — a move that allows numerous electricity generators to compete. Deregulation has delivered customers more than $24 billion in generation savings, according to a recent study. But under HB 247, monopoly distribution utilities would get an unfair advantage. Read this analysis by OMA energy engineer RunnerStone LLC. Join the discussion by participating in the OMA Energy Committee’s Nov. 21 meeting. 10/10/2019