Energy / Utilities

Study: lack of competition to blame for Ohio electricity cost increases

Credit: Robert Schwartz/Creative Commons

COLUMBUS — “With Ohio’s energy and energy efficiency standards again under attack, a new policy paper from Ohio State University attributes the lion’s share of electricity cost increases since 2008 to utilities and provisions that insulate them from full competition.

None of Ohio’s transmission and distribution utilities have moved to the Market Rate Offers envisioned when lawmakers enacted Senate Bill 3 in 1999, noted lead author Noah Dormady. Instead, the utilities continue to get rates based on Electric Security Plans, or ESPs.

…The 1999 law allowed a transition period for that market to develop. When that hadn’t happened by 2008, SB 221 allowed more time. That law also established Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. SB 221 passed with broad bipartisan support.

Opponents of Ohio’s clean energy standards have said that the state’s electric rates rose in the wake of SB 221. Dormady and his co-authors say the real culprit for price increases is the current rate system, which basically guarantees profits for the utilities.”

— Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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