DP&L says it needs $600M to compete

Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 12:33 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 12:33 PM

The Dayton Power & Light Co. got support and criticism at a public hearing Tuesday on its request to charge customers $600 million over five years to help it transition to a competitive market for electricity.

The utility has said the charge — which will amount to $5 a month for a typical household — is necessary because the company is losing customers and revenue. The charge is “critical” to the company’s financial health, a DP&L spokeswoman said last week.

DP&L serves more than 500,000 customers spread over 24 counties throughout the Miami Valley, including Montgomery, Preble, Greene, Clinton, Fayette, Darke, Mercer, and also parts of Auglaize, Butler, Clark, Madison, Shelby, Logan, Champaign, Union, Hardin, Van Wert, Ross and Warren.

DP&L’s request won’t be decided by the Ohio Public Utility Commission until sometime after March. The request has been criticized by industry and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.

The afternoon hearing at Dayton City Hall lasted just 32 minutes. Aside from DP&L representatives, attorneys representing DP&L, PUCO officials, and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, only a few others attended the first of two hearings Tuesday.

Gene Krebs, a former state legislator and Preble County Commisioner, complained that service in rural areas wasn’t up to par, adding that power restoration during blackouts takes too long.

“We rural people feel like we are second-class citizens subject to benign neglect,” he said.

Sampson Wright, 30, of Dayton, said he works two jobs to keep his household that includes small children intact. He said he didn’t believe the utility had made a good enough case for a rate change.

“My experience overall has been great,” he said “My only complaint is the justification of the rate going up.”

During evening testimony, single mother of two Clair Thompson, 42, of Dayton, asked the utility to look more deeply at possible cuts before reqesting higher contributions from ratepayers. “I’m seeing dollar signs I don’t have,” she said.

Sanford Holmes, 59, of Dayton, a volunteer community advocate for AARP Ohio, said residents in his age group can’t afford increases in utility bills. “Too many people are struggling with their health care costs,” he said. “They find themselves either unemployed or with their hours cut back.”

The Dayton Art Institute’s executive director, Michael R. Roediger, praised the utility for its steadfast support of the arts through the DP&L Foundation even during tough economic times. A similar endorsement came from Ted Bucaro, government relations director at the University of Dayton.

The utility and foundation, which provides $1 million to the community annually, are financially separate, said DP&L spokeswoman Lesley Sprigg. Ratepayers do not bear any costs of foundation activities.

Sprigg said before the hearing that DP&L has worked to reach a settlement on the rate changes since March with the PUCO and the more than 25 intervening parties.

“We are facing the same challenge as other utilities in Ohio — lower energy prices coupled with an increase in customers switching” energy providers. “This significantly affects the company’s ability to attract capital and maintain financial integrity during the transition to a competitive market.”

She said a drop in energy prices since 2008 has significantly reduced company earnings and an increase in customers switching from the utility to other suppliers causes a revenue decline, but the utility still has fixed costs to meet required generation availability, reliability and service levels. Other anticpated costs will be in the required legal separation of generating plants from the utility.

“DP&L is seeking an orderly transition to a competitive market to ensure its future financial viability,” Sprigg said. The rate change, known as a service stability rider, “is critical because it will maintain DP&L’s financial health which will enable DP&L to meet its obligations to satisfy the electricity demands —availability, reliability and service levels — for all in the region.”

Today, with market-based service, customers are free to choose among utilities providing electricity. Ratepayers will continue to pay a portion of their bills to use the delivery system provided by DP&L.

The company said in filings that the charge would generate $600 million over five years, or $120 million annually.

It’s unavoidable by customers, regardless of whether they’ve signed up with a competing electricity provider. If approved, it would be effective through December 2017.

Even with the charge, DP&L said, other parts of the rates would decrease. Residential customers using more than a household average would see a decrease. Commercial and industrial customers who remain with DP&L as their electricity supplier should see a decrease of 2 percent to 6 percent.

The Consumers’ Counsel has said the office doesn’t consider the charge reasonable because it allows utilities to insulate themselves from competition.

On Nov. 1, DPL’s parent company and acquirer AES Corp. said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would take a write-off on the value of its DPL assets in the range of $1.7 to $2 billion.
  • To file an online public comment about the case, consumers can visit PUCO’s website Docketing Information System located at http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/. Type in case number 12-0426 in the upper right-hand corner to access the case docket.
  • The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel has put together a chart to show the various electric service offers being made to DP&L customers: http://pickocc.org/electric/choice.shtml

22 removed from home after shots fired report

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 4:50 PM

            Police respond to shots fired call at Middletown home.

Twenty-two people were removed from a Middletown home at 3:30 a.m. Friday after police responded to a report of shots fired in the 1200 block of Yankee Road.

Because the residents refused to let officers in to check on the well-being of occupants — at one point the people who answered the door cursed at the officers and slammed the door — law enforcement from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Trenton police department and multiple troopers from the Butler County and Warren County posts of the State Highway Patrol were called in for assistance, according to the police.

There also were eight Middletown police officers and two sergeants on the scene, the report said.

At one point, dispatchers in the Middletown police department received a 911 call that someone had been shot in an apartment on Mount Vernon Street. Officers responded and determined the apartment number didn’t exist.

Later, they determined a female from inside the residence on Yankee Road allegedly called police, trying to lure officers away.

Once the occupants were outside, police determined no one had any weapons or were injured.

Marcelle Matthers, of Cincinnati, became “very belligerent” with officers and she was charged with disorderly conduct and Frederekka Bonds, of Trenton, had a warrant through the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation is pending, according to the report.

Search continues for male who went overboard at Grand Lake St. Marys

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 8:05 AM

UPDATE @ 9:51 a.m.

The search continues at Grand Lake St. Marys where a male went overboard from a pontoon boat overnight.

Montezuma firefighters and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are actively searching the lake in the area of Safety Island.

Firefighters got the call at 2:35 a.m. that a male went overboard and needed rescued. Montezuma Fire Chief Ron Schulze said the search for the victim continues this morning.

Celina police and fire, as well as St. Mary’s Twp. firefighters are assisting.

Further details have not been released.


A person has reportedly drowned at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park in Mercer County, according to officials. 

Authorities tell WHIO's Steve Baker a person drowned in the lake near Montezuma around 2:30 a.m. 

Initial reports indicate a man went overboard while on a boat in the lake. 

A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources could not be reached for comment. 

Our crew will be attending a news conference in Mercer County scheduled for 9:30 a.m. 

We will continue to monitor and update this developing story.

Huber Heights gunshot victim said he was shot in Dayton carjacking attempt 

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 4:31 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 4:45 PM

A gunshot victim found inside a car Saturday, May 27, 2017, on Longfellow Street in Huber Heights said he was shot during a carjacking attempt in Dayton. DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF

UPDATE @ 4:45 p.m.

Huber Heights police said the shooting victim told them he was shot in Dayton during an attempted carjacking.

The victim’s name, age and condition was not released.


Police are investigating a shooting this afternoon after a shooting victim was found in Huber Heights.

The victim was found inside a car in the 4600 block of Longfellow Street and was taken to a local hospital.

Police say the shooting happened in Dayton, possibly on Germantown Street. Dayton police are investigating.

We have a crew headed to the scene and will update this report as we learn details.

GOT A TIP? Contact the 24-hour line at 937-259-2237 or newsdesk@coxinc.com

Adopted woman, 72, connects with long-lost sister

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 6:51 PM

Toni Rosenberg, right, of Boca Raton, meets her sister Florence Serino for the first time at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday May 16, 2016. Serino had just traveled from her home in Irvine, California. (Photo: Meghan McCarthy / Palm Beach Post)

Toni Rosenberg has spent the past week chatting non-stop with her half-sister, Florence Serino, 82. After all, they have decades worth of memories to catch up on.

The two met for the first time May 16 at a crowded airport gate in Fort Lauderdale. Rosenberg, a Boca Raton resident who was given away as a newborn in a secretive “black market” adoption, tracked down Serino just last year.

“We both have big mouths,” Serino, who lives in Irvine, California, said with a laugh. The two have spent the past week shopping, eating and sharing memories, stories and photos of two families that, despite living on opposite sides of the country, are inextricably connected.

Rosenberg even learned that she had biological cousins living just miles from her in Boca Raton, she said. Serino introduced them.

“It’s crazy to think I had family right there,” said Rosenberg, the only child of her adoptive parents.

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The sisters have spent hours looking at old family photos, including ones of the pair’s biological mother Ilene Gallagher, which Serino brought with her from California.

“If you saw my mother walking down the street, you’d say immediately, ‘She must be related to Toni,’ ” Rosenberg said of her resemblance to Gallagher.

The union has brought immeasurable joy to Rosenberg and her family and friends, Rosenberg said.

But a sadness still lingers. Serino plans to fly back to California on Tuesday.

“All this time has gone by and we could’ve shared children and grandchildren,” Rosenberg said. “We could’ve had more years ahead of us.”

The sisters aren’t sure if they’ll meet again in person. A 2,200-mile flight is a financial and health strain on most, let alone on two elderly retirees.

“It’s kind of hard to think far ahead,” Rosenberg said, adding that they’re strategically packing half-a-century’s worth of conversations into a two-week visit. “How much time does God give us?”
Read more about the sister's journeys to meet one another here.