On September 23 – four days before a public hearing scheduled by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) at Dayton City Hall – Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) withdrew a proposed Reliable Electricity Rider, or charge, in favor of another proposed charge – this one for a Distribution Modernization Rider, according to a report by local TV channel WHIO.
Dayton Power and Light (DP&L), a public utility that services more than 515,000 residential, commercial, and industrial retail electric customers in West Central Ohio, had filed the application with the commission last February 22 (Docket No. 1-0395-EL-SSO).
According to the local news outlet, a DP&L spokesperson could not immediately clarify how rates for residential customers might be affected by the last-minute change, filed electronically with the PUCO. “Right now, we’re gathering testimony, as we’re speaking, for a Distribution Modernization Rider,” said Mary Ann Kabel. “That’s where we are.”
In addition, a PUCO spokesperson interviewed by the TV station said the new filing from the company was “devoid of any details” on possible consumer costs. “That’s a great question, and unfortunately I have no idea,” said Matt Schilling, the PUCO spokesperson. “It’s hard to know how any impacts may apply.”
The new rider retains customers’ ability to shop for a competitive electric supplier and introduces a distribution investment rider to “support continued investment in distribution system reliability.” The change also “introduces a clean energy rider that will facilitate future investment in renewable and advanced technologies” and “maintains DP&L’s financial integrity and its ability to provide reliable, safe and stable customer service,” the utility’s filing stated.
As presented when DP&L first submitted the plan last February, starting in 2017, the average residential customer’s bill — for every 1,000 kilowatt- hours (kWh) of use — would increase by about 1 percent, or $1.21 per month, the utility said at the time.
Ellis Jacobs, a Dayton attorney, did not testify before the commission, but he told WHIO that DP&L’s request is “not appropriate.”
“It just locks in old technology that DP&L customers already paid for many times over,” Jacobs said, referring to coal-fired power plants. “We need a forward-looking company that thinks about how to provide energy in the future. This just doesn’t help them get there.”