Dayton Power & Light has sent out about 300 letters to union-represented power plant employees informing them that they will be employees of AES Ohio Generation as of Oct. 1.
Members are concerned, said Greg Adams, president of Local 175 of the Utility Workers Union of America. The letters are being distributed in the midst of contract negotiations, according to Adams.
“It’s the unknown,” he said. “The company has made some statements out there that have not been defined … All our questions have not been answered.”
The company’s contract with the union expires Oct. 31, Adams said.
The letters are being sent in the wake of a federal regulatory body’s approval of the transfer of DP&L power generation assets to an offshoot of the company that owns DP&L.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the transfer of the facilities late last month from the Dayton utility to AES Ohio Generation LLC.
“They explain that upon receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals for the proposed transaction and implementation of the proposed transaction, Dayton Power’s existing portfolio of generation assets will be owned by AES Ohio. This includes Dayton Power’s interests in 13 coal, oil, and gas-fired generating units and one solar unit, totaling 2,510 megawatts,” the FERC wrote in a Aug. 29 decision.
A company spokeswoman said with the enactment of Ohio Senate Bill 3 in 2000, separation of generation assets from the distribution and transmission business is part of deregulation of Ohio’s electricity market. Ohio law requires that DP&L separate its generation assets from the regulated utility, according to the spokeswoman. Other Ohio utilities have already completed this generation separation process.
All employees will transfer to AES Ohio Generation and will continue their daily jobs as they do today, Mary Ann Kabel, a DPL spokeswoman said in an email.
The transfer of employee does not affect customer rates, Kabel said.
Last year, a spokesman for the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, said the office is on guard against any attempt by DP&L to get consumers to “subsidize” the transfer to AES Ohio Generation. DP&L is owned by Arlington, Va.-based AES Corp.
In August 2016, DP&L filed at the FERC for approval to turn its mostly coal-fired power plants over to AES Ohio Generation.
A message seeking comment was left with a spokesman for the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, a body which acts to represent Ohio utility customers.
Earlier this year, in a filing with the state, DP&L said it was committed to selling its ownership in three generation stations. The three stations are the Conesville station in Conesville, Ohio, Miami Fort in North Bend, Ohio and Zimmer in Moscow, Ohio. All three are coal-fired facilities.
And last week, DP&L acknowledged that it was sending about a dozen fiance and accounting jobs to Argentina.
“This is all stuff they have sprung on us in the past week as part of contract negotiations,” Adams said. “We have a ton of questions that they have failed to answer up to this point.”
DP&L has about 515,000 customers in 24 Western Ohio counties.