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Default Service Adder Would Be Set At Zero In Utility's Rate Case Stipulation

Utility To Work With Consumer Advocate On Displaying, On Shopping Customers' Bills, Price Comparison; Calculation Of Savings Available Under Default Service

Utility Withdraws New Language Regarding Ability To Suspend Consolidated Billing For Retail Suppliers "Not Following" State Regulations

Utility Withdraws Proposed New Demand-Side Management Programs Meant To Position EDC In "A More Traditional Utility Role"

March 15, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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As part of a new stipulation in a rate case, AEP Ohio has agreed to set amounts for a default service adder in its tariff at zero.

The stipulation was signed by AEP Ohio, Staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, various industrial customer groups including Ohio Energy Group and Industrial Energy Users - Ohio, Walmart, Kroger, and certain EV companies, among other signatories. No retail supplier parties were among the signatories. Certain parties did not take a position on specific provisions of the settlement

Under the stipulation, the bypassable Retail Reconciliation Rider and nonbypassable SSO Credit Rider would remain at zero (which is their current level)

As conceived by parties to a prior stipulation (later modified by PUCO) in an electric security plan proceeding, the bypassable Retail Reconciliation Rider was meant to reflect supply costs recovered in delivery rates, such as bad debt expense and the Commission and OCC assessments. As conceived by parties to the stipulation, a nonbypassable SSO Credit Rider was to flow amounts collected under the bypassable Retail Reconciliation Rider to all distribution customers (less amounts used to fund a discount on AEP Ohio receivables paid to the utility by suppliers using a supplier consolidated billing pilot)

PUCO previously authorized the Retail Reconciliation Rider and SSO Credit Rider on a placeholder basis only, with amounts to be determined in a future proceeding. PUCO had directed AEP Ohio to study the costs in delivery rates related to SSO service, as well as costs in delivery rates that support customer choice

As first reported by, AEP Ohio did provide certain cost data for the riders, but Staff had recommended that both riders be set at $0

With respect to supply rate information on shopping customers' bills, a term of the stipulation provides that AEP Ohio and OCC, "will work to develop a proposal that amends the Company’s application in Case No. 20-1408-EL-UNC to display on customers’ bills additional computations that reflect potential consumer savings or losses as compared to the Company’s SSO." PUCO Staff takes no position on this provision of the stipulation

As exclusively first reported by, in Case No. 20-1408-EL-UNC, AEP Ohio has proposed a modified bill format that would list the shadow-billed total supply cost that a shopping customer would have paid, had the customer been on the Standard Service Offer, on the first page on a utility consolidated bill for residential customers. The proposal remains pending before PUC

Additionally, "[f]or consumer information," AEP Ohio would also perform aggregate "shadow billing" calculations for residential customers and would make such calculations promptly available to OCC and Staff annually or at OCC’s or Staff’s request. AEP Ohio agrees that the aggregate shadow billing information that is to be provided is not confidential.

Specifically, AEP Ohio would provide, on a monthly basis, an aggregate dollar amount of shopping customers who saved money versus being on default Standard Service Offer and an aggregate dollar amount of shopping customers who potentially did not save versus being on default Standard Service Offer, and a total of these two figures (along with a running cumulative total over time)

Under the stipulation, AEP Ohio, "agrees to withdraw its termination language regarding consolidated billing."

As exclusively first reported by, AEP Ohio had initially proposed tariff language stating, "The Company maintains the right to terminate Company consolidated billing services in the event that the CRES providers are not following the Ohio Administrative Code rules. Prior to removal, the Company will provide the CRES provider with code violation notifications and will terminate services after three consecutive months after notification."

The term "Company consolidated billing" refers to the billing of retail supplier charges on the AEP Ohio bill (utility consolidated billing), although a narrative suggested that the language was meant only to apply to supplier consolidated billing.

Under the stipulation, AEP Ohio agrees to modify its tariff language, "to clarify that a competitive retail electric service ('CRES') provider who is a power broker only (not also engaged in other CRES activity) does not need to adhere to AEP Ohio's security requirements (including financial disclosures), enroll in and complete Electronic Data Interchange certification testing, or provide evidence of PJM membership."

AEP Ohio, "reserves the right to implement such requirements in the future based on new circumstances, subject to approval by the Commission."

As part of the settlement, AEP Ohio has agreed to withdraw, without prejudice to any future case, the demand side management (DSM) proposal included in its application.

As exclusively first reported by, AEP Ohio had proposed a new suite of demand-side management programs (DSM Plan) which, as stated in prior testimony from the company, "represents a return to a more traditional utility role of engaging customers to help manage the peak usage of energy along with ways to reduce energy through more efficient technology."

"These programs support AEP Ohio’s vision of becoming the trusted energy advisor for our customers," AEP Ohio said in its prior testimony

Notable among the previously proposed programs was a Residential Demand Response program which, "lowers peak demand through behavioral coaching and incentivizing demand response (DR) by residential customers."

The stipulation would continue the Basic Transmission Cost Recovery Rider (BTCR) Pilot that allows large industrial customers to avoid this otherwise nonbypassable charge for non-market-based PJM transmission charges, and be billed for such charges directly (through their LSE) by PJM for such charges

Additionally, the stipulation would increase total participation allotment in the BTCR Pilot for the industrial groups OEG, IEU and OMAEG to 15 slots each. The BTCR Pilot participation cap would be increased to 800 MW for 2022, 900 MW for 2023, and 1,000 MW for 2024.

AEP Ohio agrees to undertake a collaborative discussion with Staff, OEG, IEU, OMAEG and OCC to explore potential future expansion of the BTCR and other potential retail and wholesale demand response programs for transmission customers.

The stipulation would result in the merger of AEP Ohio's current two distribution rate zones into a single tariff and rate zone (though both zones already have the same SSO rate regardless)

Case No. 20-586-EL-ATA

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