The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio recently approved settlements with Dominion East Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio that allow the utilities to stop using their standard choice offer, a whole sale auction that sets prices, and instead forces customers to buy directly from retail marketers.
Executive director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, Dave Rinebolt, says data shows the standard offer is the most competitive approach and produces the lowest prices.
The commission has said the decision moves Ohio toward a more competitive market which will incentivize marketers to offer a larger variety of product options for customers. But Rinebolt says contracts offered by marketers typically cost customers more.
Dominion is allowed to eliminate its standard choice offer for non-residential customers starting April 1st. The Columbia case is contingent on the number of customers participating in the utility’s choice program. Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy is asking the P-U-C-O for a rehearing on both cases.