OMA to PUCO: Protect Electricity Market


Manufacturers, and other electricity consumers, have benefited from Ohio’s move to a deregulated electricity market.  This week, the OMA Energy Group filed a brief in the AEP case which would undermine the market and force large costs on its customers for the next eight years for no benefit. “Electricity is a critical cost component for manufacturers in producing their products. By allowing manufacturers to shop for their electricity supply, and having suppliers compete to provide that electricity, the cost component compared to what would otherwise be available to manufacturers under the utilities’ tariffed rates has come down. The downward pressure on prices created by a competitive market should be fostered,” the OMA Energy Group wrote in its brief. Yet, the brief states, “If accepted, the (proposal) … will saddle distribution customers with the generation costs of a fleet of aging and expensive coal units and threaten to erase the gains made by Ohio manufacturers and other consumers in the competitive market. That outcome is unfaithful to the General Assembly’s unambiguous market-based directive and will thwart the state’s effectiveness in the global economy. Indeed, as one of the top generators of electricity in the nation, the harms to Ohio could be especially painful. Given the interconnectedness of the electrical grid and the competitive markets, these harms will have ripple effects beyond Ohio’s borders.”