Several Ohio utilities have requested the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to approve an increase in “fixed charges”. Making fixed charges a larger percentage of a customer’s utility bill reduces the amount that customers can save by using less energy or generating their own solar power. Raising fixed charges also penalizes low- and fixed-income users who already struggling to pay their utility bills.
Wins for ratepayers
In 2017, after ratepayers and solar advocates spoke out against a $10/month fixed rate charge increase proposed by American Electric Power, the utility withdrew its request. Ratepayers scored another victory in early 2018 as Duke Energy withdrew its request as well.
Public pressure was critical in forcing the utilities to back down. But, we need your voice to continue fighting for Ohio ratepayers. Both Dayton Power & Light and FirstEnergy are proposing fixed charges increase.
The PUCO is accepting public comment about the proposed fixed rate increases. Solar United Neighbors of Ohio is organizing solar homeowners and businesses and those that care about solar into a unified voice. When we speak together with one voice, we speak louder.
- Why fixed charges are a false fix to the utility industry’s solar challenges – In this Utility Dive article, Jon Wellinghoff and James Tong explain the misguided logic behind utilities’ attempt to penalize solar owners with fixed charges on their electric bills.
- The flaws in the utilities’ push for residential demand charges – In their second Utility Dive article, Jon Wellinghoff and James Tong detail how recent moves towards residential demand charges could confuse customers and harm ratepayers.
- The year in utility rate cases: mandatory fee hikes retreat as consumer voices pick up steam – This report from the Natural Resources Defense Council describes the growing push from utilities for fixed charges on their customers’ bills, how those charges harm ratepayers, and successful attempts at fighting them.
- Critics say Ohio utility’s proposed fixed charge increase will slow efficiency, clean energy – This article from Midwest Energy News details AEP’s request to double the fixed charges it levies on customer electric bills and explores how such an increase would discourage the installation of solar and energy efficient technologies.
- Ohio utility seeks to double its fixed distribution charges – This Midwest Energy News article outlines AEP’s previous attempt to increase fixed charges for all customers, in response to the growing number of solar installations.