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OPAE Seeks To End, For Non-Residential Customers, Assignment Of Non-Shopping Customers To Retail Suppliers On Monthly Rate At Dominion East Ohio

March 13, 2018

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

The following story is brought free of charge to readers by EC Infosystems, the exclusive EDI provider of EnergyChoiceMatters.com

The Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy has petitioned the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to terminate the Monthly Variable Rate (MVR) program as the default service for non-shopping non-residential customers at Dominion Energy Ohio, and to re-instate the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) as the default service for non-residential customers.

OPAE's petition comes after the Ohio Consumers' Counsel sought to end the MVR program for residential customers, which had been first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com (see story here). OPAE supports OCC's petition regarding residential customers as well

However, as noted in our prior story, the MVR program for residential customers only applies to customers on competitive supply whose supplier ceases serving them (the contract or government aggregations ends, for example) and who do not choose another supplier or who do not choose the SCO at such time. The SCO remains the default service available for residential customers who have not previously shopped.

In contrast, the SCO was previously totally eliminated for non-residential service. Any non-residential customer without a supplier selected by the customer or through opt-out aggregation are assigned to a supplier under the MVR program.

OPAE said that, "Some MVRs can be significantly higher than the SCO, to a level resulting in the price gouging of Ohioans."

"The MVR is anything a supplier wants it to be, and there is no insight into how an MVR is set. After Dominion assigns a non-residential customer to a supplier’s MVR, the customer will not know her price for natural gas until she gets her first bill," OPAE said

OPAE further cited pricing data cited by OCC in OCC's residential petition (see details here)

"[N]on-residential customers, such as small businesses and non-profit organizations, generally cannot commit a high level of attention to natural gas markets and confront a considerable challenge to determine the offer that is right for them. The state’s energy policy does not put the suppliers’ interests in high prices and opaque offers ahead of the interests of consumers in low prices and transparent offers," OPAE said

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