Consumers Counsel Seeks Investigation Of Vistra's Acquisition of Energy Harbor
March 23, 2023 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Ohio Consumers' Counsel has requested that that Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, "should open an investigation and require Vistra/Dynegy
to show cause why its acquisition of Energy Harbor will not adversely affect the Ohio
retail electric market, especially including the governmental aggregation market and the
consumers served by it."
OCC's comments were made in recent comments concerning the renewal of NOPEC's governmental electricity aggregator certificate (as previously reported, PUCO granted such renewal). OCC argued that renewal of the NOPEC certificate was made more important by the concentration of currently competing aggregation service providers that would result under the Vistra-Energy Harbor transaction
In the order granting NOPEC renewal of its certificate, PUCO did not address OCC's request for an investigation of the Vistra/Energy Harbor transaction, though PUCO did reject comments that Dynegy had sought to file in response to a Staff recommendation regarding NOPEC, and OCC's filing in which OCC recommended an investigation of the Vistra/Energy Harbor transaction was made in response to those comments from Dynegy which PUCO declined to consider.
In its filing, OCC alleged, "The Vistra/Dynegy acquisition of their
competitor, Energy Harbor, reduces the already limited number of competing suppliers to
aggregations in northern Ohio (if not in the entire state of Ohio)."
"The PUCO’s investigatory efforts should be directed toward
scrutinizing the transaction. That regulatory scrutiny is needed to protect Ohio consumers
from Vistra/Dynegy’s concentration of market power in what should be a competitive
governmental aggregation market and retail market generally," OCC alleged
In a reply to OCC's filing, Dynegy Marketing & Trade, LLC alleged that, "OCC’s request is nothing more than an improper collateral attack on an intervening party that raised legitimate regulatory and legal concerns with NOPEC’s 'unprecedented' conduct in dropping over 500,000 of its customers to the standard service offer."
Noting that OCC raised the issue in a proceeding unrelated to Dynegy (other than Dynegy being an intervening party) and that PUCO has rejected, in the NOPEC renewal order, Dynegy's request to file earlier comments to which OCC was responding, Dynegy said, "OCC’s motion should be denied as moot and improper."