Consumers’ counsel appeals to Supreme Court against AES Ohio $76M stability charge

AES data scientist, Kashyap Mehta works in his new office at the newly remodeled AES smart operations center on Woodman Dr.  AES spent $20 million to renovate the old Dayton Power & Light building and move AES into the future. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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AES data scientist, Kashyap Mehta works in his new office at the newly remodeled AES smart operations center on Woodman Dr. AES spent $20 million to renovate the old Dayton Power & Light building and move AES into the future. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel recently filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court against an AES Ohio $76 million stability charge.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the stability charge for the former Dayton Power & Light electric utility through the year 2024, when the PUCO adopted a settlement resolving multiple cases involving what was then DP&L.

An Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Office representative said his office declined to sign that settlement.

ExploreConsumers’ counsel asks Supreme Court to force action in AES Ohio rate case

“The only thing standing between DP&L consumers and the higher rates they have been forced to pay is the law, which is supposed to protect them and assure they pay just and reasonable rates,” the OCC said in its Nov. 29 filing. “And that law has been disregarded by the PUCO. The court needs to step in and provide justice that is long overdue for DP&L consumers.”

The office argues that Dayton-area consumers have been paying “unjust and unreasonable rates” to the utility for business stability, which the OCC said the Supreme Court has “consistently struck down.”

AES Ohio has said the stability charge lets it make investments in its transmission and distribution system “to support basic reliability in the short-term.”

A schedule for briefs in the case has not yet been set, a spokeswoman for AES Ohio said Wednesday. AES Ohio will respond in compliance with the schedule set forth by the Ohio Supreme Court, said the spokeswoman for the utility, Mary Ann Kabel.

The OCC noted that the then-DP&L withdrew from an earlier electric security plan — a plan for the supply and pricing of service — after the PUCO, in response to a Supreme Court order striking down a distribution modernization charge for Ohio utility FirstEnergy, ordered an end to DP&L’s similar distribution charge.

According to the OCC, the amount levied against consumers for the stability charge is $76 million per year.

A spokesman for the PUCO said his office does not comment on pending court cases.

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