Mike Brakey will be attending Governor Kasich’s Energy & Economic Summit in Columbus, Ohio on September 21 and 22. Mike believes that it is good whenever Ohio businesses become more energy efficient, but he is hoping to get rid of Ohio’s renewable energy mandates that don’t make economic sense at this time. John Funk had an interesting article in Saturday’s Plain Dealer that mentioned not only the energy summit, but also a recent survey of Ohio voters about energy policy: Poll: Ohioans support energy-efficient products
AEP-Ohio has proposed new rate plans to be effective on January 1, 2012. We have been following the ongoing settlement talks regarding thses proposals. The Columbus Dispatch had a recent article with an update on the case: AEP’s Plan
For many years, the standard rates offered by AEP’s two Ohio utilities, Columbus Southern Power and Ohio Power, were lower than market rates. The opportunities to switch to a retail electric supplier and save money have been limited. A key issue with AEP’s rate proposal is that it is trying to limit the savings opportunities going forward while also raising rates. IEU-Ohio and other stakeholders are working to make sure that AEP customers have the opportunity to select an alternative electric supplier, as required by Ohio law.
For many years, the standard rates offered by AEP-Ohio’s two operating companies, Columbus Southern Power (CSP) and Ohio Power (OP), were some of the lowest in the country, let alone Ohio. The opportunities for AEP customers to switch to a retail electric supplier for generation services and save money were limited. There was no reason for customers to consider switching. However, as a result of dramatic rate increases since 2004, CSP and some OP customers may now be able to save money by switching suppliers.
While market competition has stabilized and lowered costs for FirstEnergy customers in Ohio in the last decade, AEP’s standard rates have skyrocketed unchecked due to barriers to competition. Since 2004, using the GS-3 rate schedule as an example, CSP rates have increased about 64% and OP rates have increased about 74%.
Both CSP and OP have proposed new rate plans to be effective on January 1, 2012. These proposals are pending at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). OP’s rates are expected to increase by at least 1 penny per kilowatt hour to recover its full fuel costs. If this happens, more OP customers may be able to save money by switching suppliers.
For certain rate schedules, AEP requires a 90-day notice to switch to a retail electric supplier. In order to switch on January 1, 2012, you would need to notify AEP by October 3rd. If you are a commercial or industrial customer who is not already shopping for generation, we can facilitate obtaining price quotes from retail electric suppliers and help you with the process. Contact us for more information.
The NYMEX settlement price at the end of August was $3.857 per thousand cubic feet (MCF), down 12% from $4.370 per MCF at the end of July. For Dominion East Ohio customers, the price to beat is NYMEX plus $1, or $4.857 per MCF in September. Now is a good time to review your natural gas contract in proparation for the winter heating season.
The 6th Annual Northern Ohio Energy Management Conference will be held on Wednesday, September 28th at the John S. Knight Convention Center, 77 East Mill Street, Akron, Ohio. Matt and Mike Brakey will be among the presenters at this informative conference. See MEC Seminars for more information or to register.