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Ohio PUC details utility reform roadmap in PowerForward initiative

The new roadmap, product of a year-long business model investigation, aims to create a level playing field for innovation on the utility distribution system.

COLUMBUS — “How is a distribution system like an iPhone?

That’s not a riddle; it’s a vision Ohio regulators have formed around the future of the grid, to serve all customers and provide services from all third-party providers. All that in a ubiquitous platform that maximizes benefits to customers while keeping costs low.

But the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) does not have Steve Jobs. In fact, its grid modernization initiative is developed around the concept that there is no ‘iPhone’ of the distribution grid yet. With PUCO Chair Asim Haque is at the helm, the regulators released a roadmap to their PowerForward program on Wednesday to help guide the state to a regulatory environment where that ‘iPhone’ can thrive.

PowerForward aims to create a “playing field” that nurtures innovation from distribution utilities, their unregulated affiliates, competitive power retailers and third party technology providers to enhance the customer experience. ”

— Iulia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive

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View and download the PowerForward Roadmap: