What is the DSE charge?
Compliance costs incurred by the utilities are passed on to customers through a surcharge on their electric bills. In FirstEnergy-Ohio’s (FE) service area, this surcharge is called the DSE2 charge.
New DSE2 Rates
Most DSE2 rates increased significantly this month. Though some rates were previously a credit, i.e. negative in the chart below, due to prior over-collection, all DSE2 rates are now a positive charge.
Mercantile customers (non-residential customers that use more than 700,000 kWh per year or are part of a national account) have the ability to request exemption from the DSE2 charge by filing an application with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). For the application to be approved, the mercantile customer must demonstrate that it has completed energy efficiency projects at their facility.
As compliance mandates ratchet up, so too will the costs. Mercantile customers should be actively trying to achieve exemption from this charge.
Substitute Senate Bill 58
If this legislation does not pass, we could easily see DSE2 rider rates in coming years rise to pennies per kWh.
Many savvy customers have taken action to eliminate their DSE2 charges. Given the jump in costs that just went into effect, I recommend those who have not yet taken action to do so as soon as possible. Even if these updated rates don’t concern you, the rates that will be coming in upcoming periods should.