AES Ohio request to establish electric security plan would add to monthly bills

AES Ohio’s application to establish an electric security plan would add at least $4 dollars a month for residential customers, according to statements Thursday night at a public hearing before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

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ESPs, as electric security plans are called, establish the pricing and supply of generation service, and may also include costs for investments to the distribution system, grid modernization, economic development and job retention initiatives.

About two dozen AES Ohio customers attended the hearing. Four of them let the PUCO representatives know how they felt about the ESP, which Rob Beeler, economic development lead for AES Ohio, said, “is designed to bring price stability and reliability to the customers. Customers may see a slight increase in their rates.”

Karl Biermann of Centerville was not happy to hear that, noting that not a year has passed since AES Ohio last raised his monthly rate, News Center 7′s Haley Kosik reported.

“Since then, my family and I largely turned off the air-conditioning last summer and allowed temperatures in our home to reach the low 80s,” he testified to the two PUCO officials.

Kathleen Golt, who said she is on a fixed income, said, “I’m having a really difficult time paying my utility bills.”

The Dayton Development Coalition supports AES Ohio’s plan, but Keelie Gustin, chief policy officer for the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership, said, “while failure to pay a utility bill or a series of utility bills may not have been the only factor forcing families out of their homes, I can assure you situations like this contribute to the chaos that is poverty in the areas that AES and my agency serve.”

AES Ohio officials filed the application Sept. 26, 2022, which asked to establish an ESP for a three-year term beginning July 1 of this year through June 30, 2026.

AES Ohio, according to the application, would call for the supply of “standard service offer” electric generation. A standard service offer, sometimes known as a default rate, is the price for electric generation service for customers that do not participate in a government aggregation program or select a retail electric supplier on their own.

Thursday night’s hearing was held in Commission chambers at the Dayton Municipal Building downtown.

The PUCO officials said the state agency will render a decision on the AES Ohio application in a few weeks, after public comments are reviewed.

If you were unable to get to the microphone or attend the hearing, you can still submit written comments to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, 180 E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio, 43215.

Comments should reference case docket number 22-900-EL-SSO.

A copy of AES Ohio’s application and the entry scheduling the public hearing is available at www.PUCO.ohio.gov by clicking on the links to “Docketing Information System” and searching for case 22-900-EL-SSO.

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