FirstEnergy reacts to Ohio Puco Order

A decision today by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will allow AEP Ohio to effectively continue to block the vast majority of its retail electric customers from receiving lower electric prices available from suppliers in the competitive market.

“With today’s ruling, AEP Ohio becomes the only utility in the state with permission to effectively restrict any of its customers from obtaining lower market based capacity prices that are at unprecedented lows – prices that can help businesses compete and help families save money,” said Donald R. Schneider, President of FirstEnergy Solutions.  “Under this framework approved by the PUCO, AEP Ohio customers will be forced to accept AEP Ohio’s prices – prices that are now far above what the market can provide.”

All other utilities in the state charge capacity prices at a market-based rate established through a competitive auction.  With this order, AEP Ohio will be able to charge a capacity price that is seven times more than the current market-based rate.

FirstEnergy Solutions is urging the PUCO to require AEP Ohio to adopt competitive market-based pricing for both energy and capacity in AEP Ohio’s Electric Security Plan currently pending before the Commission.

“The use of competitive auctions for buying electricity for utility customers has been effective in reducing prices for other Ohio utilities, including FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities and more recently Duke Energy Ohio, where a new market-based rate plan that took effect in January resulted in a 17 percent rate reduction for its utility customers,” says Schneider.

FirstEnergy Solutions is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE).