Tagged In: , ,

Lower Bills, Cleaner Energy: How the OEC Advocates For and With You

News about Ohio energy policy can make you feel dizzy: At the same time Ohioans are feeling the pinch of increasing utility bills, we’re still on the hook for coal bailouts as a result of the House Bill 6 utility corruption scandal.

Ohioans deserve access to affordable and clean energy, and to have a say in how those decisions are made. That’s why the OEC’s Energy Program — in collaboration with our Law Center, which you can learn more about on page 10 — joins cases at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

Check out our recent work to advocate for equitable, transparent, and pro-environment utility practices:

Fighting for Energy Affordability

Last year, we joined a case where AEP Ohio asked the PUCO to raise rates more than 13% over 6 years.

As a result of our advocacy, the PUCO dropped the rate increase to only 4.5% over 4 years, increased support for low-income households, and initiated new energy efficiency programs.

Fighting Against Fixed Charges

Also last year, the OEC spoke out when the PUCO approved an increase in Columbia Gas’s monthly fixed charge — a fee you pay before using any gas at all — to $58 per month by 2027 and gutted its energy efficiency programs.

More than 350 OEC members
like you submitted public comments opposing this decision as it could significantly burden Ohio families. Because of your advocacy, the PUCO has now
agreed to review
whether it should overturn its decision.

Fighting for Refunds from Corrupt Bailouts

The OEC is active in the PUCO’s audit of Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) — the company owning two coal plants Ohio lawmakers bailed out via House Bill 6. If, in its review, the PUCO finds bailout charges from any Ohio utility were unreasonable, they can order those companies to refund customers’ payments.

As an intervenor, the OEC presented testimony from Nick Nolan, a local dairy farmer working and living near an OVEC plant, highlighting the need for the PUCO to hold OVEC accountable. In addition to refunds, the OEC is pushing for changes to utility operations to save Ohioans money. PUCO is currently deciding whether it will require any refunds to customers.