Currently viewing the tag: "Ohio Consumers’ Counsel"

If you’re one of the 595,000 AEP customers in Ohio who recently suffered through extreme heat without the convenience of refrigeration or air conditioning, I’m going to guess this headline might piss you off:

AEP Ohio Wants To Pass Costs Of Outage Repairs To Customers 
10TV.com

An AEP Ohio spokeswoman said that the company planned to ask the Ohio Public Utilities Commission to pass costs to customers.

AEP Ohio estimates its spent millions to restore power to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans after storms hit June 29 and July 1.

“We pass on what the commission allows […]

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 The challenging economic environment has always meant a tough budget balancing act for the Governor and his policy makers.  Ohio is dealing with a projected $8 billion shortfall, which is the context for the administration’s mathematical acrobatics. 

Both the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio are funded through assessments paid by utilities, not funded through the state’s general revenue fund (In other words, not funded by taxpayer dollars).  The cuts then do not directly save taxpayer funds.

Theoretically, if the fees on utilities are lessened, then those savings could be passed […]

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Thirty-five years ago, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel was born, the product of legislation introduced by a fresh-faced State Representative named Sherrod Brown, to represent customers of public utilities in Ohio and give them a voice against powerful interests.

Today, that agency is threatened by budget cuts and proposed changes to its mission which would limit the ability of the agency to fight for fairness for Ohio consumers.

This isn’t the story of insiders, bureaucratic malaise, or politics at its worst. It is a story of David versus Goliath, and an example of the philosophical differences raging in the Ohio capital […]

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