Heads the Utility Wins, Tails the Customers Lose


Recently, Ohio manufacturers, and other electricity consumers, won an important case at the Supreme Court of Ohio, which invalidated a surcharge that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) had approved for DP&L.  The court’s decision invalidated the rider because it enabled DP&L to recover “transition revenue.”  Transition revenue under Ohio law was to end in 2005 (“transition” refers to the system’s transition from regulated generation to a competitive market). On August 26, the PUCO acted to essentially overturn the customer-benefiting decision of the Supreme Court.  Following the PUCO’s logic, if a utility suffers an adverse ruling on appeal that benefits customers, the utility could then counteract the effects of the court’s ruling by simply requesting to terminate its current rate plan and revert back to a prior one, or any combination thereof, whichever is more favorable to the utility. For customers, it is:  Heads the utility wins, tails the customers lose.  There appears to be basically no way to win a legal appeal, if this PUCO action holds. You can read the details in this memo from Carpenter, Lipps & Leland, OMA energy counsel.  8/30/2016