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

Dayton native injured in Mardis Gras parade crash

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 12:44 AM

Dayton native injured in Mardis Gras parade crash

A Dayton-area native is recovering from injuries she sustained when a car crashed into a crowd of Mardi Gras spectators in New Orleans Saturday night. 

Kaitlin Greetham, a former Bellbrook Jr. High student, was among a group of nearly two dozen people who were injured while attending the Krewe of Endymion parade. 

Greetham's mother told this news outlet her daughter was injured when the truck drove into the crowd. Her mother says Greetham is conscious and alert as the family awaits x-ray and scan results. 

Greetham, who has worked as a nurse in New Orleans since the early 2000s, took to Facebook Saturday night to let friends now she is alright and recovering in the hospital. Greetham has family currently living in the Dayton area.

Members of a local high school band were also performing during an unrelated Mardis Gras parade in New Orleans Saturday night.

George W. Bush's daughter, Barbara, to headline Planned Parenthood fundraiser

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 1:19 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 1:19 AM

            George W. Bush's daughter, Barbara, to headline Planned Parenthood fundraiser

Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, will be the keynote speaker at a fundraising luncheon Wednesday for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas in Fort Worth.

Planned Parenthood has often been criticized by conservatives who seek to defund the organization, which provides women's health care services, including abortions.

>> Read more trending news

While her father has been an opponent of abortion, Barbara Pierce Bush has supported Planned Parenthood on a number of occasions. She also is the founder of Global Health Corps, which, according to its website, seeks to promote “global health equity by connecting outstanding young leaders worldwide with organizations working on the frontlines.”

The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is Cecile Richards, the daughter of Ann Richards, who was the democratic predecessor to George W. Bush as Texas governor. Barbara Pierce Bush and Richards sat down for a New York Times interview last summer in which they talked about the roles that they play, and Bush discussed the moment when she first publicly broke from her father’s stances–by publicly supporting gay marriage.

The 1976 Hyde Amendment prevents federal taxes from funding abortions. However, federal funds are used to cut the cost of women’s health care services such as cervical cancer screenings and STD prevention and medication.

Crowd of 400 attend Obamacare forum in Centerville

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 12:20 AM

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday evening for a forum discussing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

The event in support of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, was held at Cline Elementary School in Centerville.

Ella Bowman, now 13, shared her story about being diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer, when she was 7.

Her mother, Colleen Bowman, said her daughter had to have four surgeries, including reconstructive surgery and involved painful skin grafts.

“I had to stay in a cool, dark room and I wan’t allowed to run around,” Ella Bowman said. “I just had to stay in bed and a chair and I wasn’t allowed to have fun with my friends.”

Ella is now 13 and cancer-free. However, after a melanoma diagnosis she requires annual dermatology screens for the rest of her life. She said the ACA protects her, giving her health care coverage even with what would have been considered an insurable pre-existing condition.

“I’ve been writing letters to our state representatives or congressmen, and our senators trying to get my voice heard,” she said. 

Ella’s voice garnered a standing ovation at Saturday’s forum.

Colleen Bowman said she wants lawmakers to know what Obamacare means to their family before changing or repealing it.

“It helps people with pre-existing conditions. It helps medical (coverage payment) caps; both of my children would have  hit medical caps before they hit 18,” she said. Financially, that a huge deal to have to worry about when you’re already dealing with a stressful situation with children you have with existing conditions.”

Lynn Buffington, one of the event organizers, said doctors have seen benefits for their patients since the ACA was enacted.

“One of the doctors that works at the community  health center said before the Affordable Care Act, 40 percent of their patients did not have insurance and now only six percent lack insurance,” she said.

28 injured when truck crashes into New Orleans parade crowd

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 9:21 PM

Latest from Cox Media Group National Content Desk: