Centralized energy plants seek ratepayer bail out

By Luke Sulfridge on November 20, 2017

The Ohio General Assembly is considering two bills under that would subsidize uncompetitive power plants in the state. The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee is considering, HB 178. Also known as the ZEN bill, it would add an additional $300 million from customers’ bills to prop up two FirstEnergy nuclear plants. It’s companion bill, SB 128, is in the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee.

A second related bill would force AEP customers to support a coal-fired power plant in southeast Ohio and another in Indiana. AEP customers in Ohio are already paying an extra $2 per month to subsidize OVEC plants. This bill would “fortify” customer subsidies for the plants. Even other coal plant operators testified against the bill in it’s last hearing. They claim it would give the plant an unfair advantage in a competitive market. This unfair advantage comes at the expense of the electricity costumer. The “OVEC Bill”, HB 239, remains in committee in the Ohio House.

Both of these bills would cause customers to pay more for electricity in order to guarantee profits of investor owned utilities.