PUCO approves profit guarantees for AEP, FirstEnergy

March 31, 2016

NEWS - Columbus Dispatch

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously voted on Thursday to approve the eight-year plans that cover selected power plants owned by American Electric Power and FirstEnergy.

The cases have been bitterly contested with thousands of pages of testimony and dueling TV ads

Opponents say this is a bailout that will prop up unprofitable power plants, harming the environment and interfering with the free market. They have concerns that this will start a national trend of subsidies for old power plants.

The utilities say the plans are necessary to help the state maintain a reliable supply of electricity, guard against spikes in market prices and preserve jobs at the affected plants. They also point to provisions that lead to investments in renewable energy.

Copyright 2016 Columbus Dispatch

March 31, 2016

NEWS-WKYC

Thursday PUCO vote could hike up utility rates

AKRON, Ohio -- A big vote Thursday could have a big impact on your utility bill. That is when Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission will decide whether consumers should pay more to subsidize certain aging coal-fired and nuclear power plants, modernize the power grid, reduce carbon emissions and guarantee profits.

Copyright 2016 WKYC

March 30, 2016

NEWS-The Cleveland Plain Dealer

By John Funk

PUCO to decide FirstEnergy power plant subsidy case Thursday

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio said late Tuesday it will vote Thursday on requests from FirstEnergy and American Electric Power to have customers help subsidize continued operations of older power plants.

FirstEnergy in August 2014 filed a new rate plan containing unprecedented "power purchase agreements" between FirstEnergy Solutions, its unregulated company that owns its power plants, and its traditional utilities like the Illuminating Co., that are today just distribution companies.

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

March 22, 2016

NEWS-The Columbus Dispatch

PUCO asked to delay AEP profit-guarantee ruling

Opponents of a proposed profit-guarantee for some American Power Electric plants are asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to wait on making a decision until federal regulators weigh in.

Copyright 2016 The Columbus Dispatch

March 8, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Operator Of New Ohio Power Plant Wants To Stop AEP, FirstEnergy Income Plans

Income guarantee plans by Ohio electric utilities could prevent new power plants from coming into the state, says the operator of a new plant set to open next year.

Oregon Clean Energy is building an 860-megawatt natural gas-fired plant in the town of Oregon, in Lucas County. It made its intentions known to energy regulators in late 2012, almost two years before FirstEnergy Corp. and American Electric Power Company Inc. introduced their proposed subsidies.

Copyright 2016 bizjournals.com

March 8, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Operator of new Ohio power plant wants to stop AEP, FirstEnergy income plans

Income guarantee plans by Ohio electric utilities could prevent new power plants from coming into the state, says the operator of a new plant set to open next year.

Oregon Clean Energy is building an 860-megawatt natural gas-fired plant in the town of Oregon, in Lucas County. It made its intentions known to energy regulators in late 2012, almost two years before FirstEnergy Corp. and American Electric Power Company Inc. introduced their proposed subsidies.

Copyright 2016 bizjournals.com

February 29, 2016

NEWS-RTO Insider

By Suzanne Here

PJM, a Dozen Others Join EPSA’s Call for FERC Review of Ohio PPAs

PJM last week joined more than a dozen other parties in calling for a FERC review of power purchase agreements that would provide FirstEnergy and American Electric Power a guaranteed return for their struggling generating stations in Ohio.

“If approved, the [PPAs] will create incentives that will likely lead to these generation units being offered, unless checked, in a manner that could harm the overall competitiveness of the PJM markets,” PJM said in comments supporting complaints by the Electric Power Supply Association and independent power producers.

Copyright 2016 RTO Insider

February 24, 2016

NEWS-WFMJ.com

By Michelle Nicks

First Energy proposes controversial rate hike

AKRON, Ohio-It's a controversy over rate hikes that is being played out in ad campaigns on tv.

But First Energy is defending it's position to raise rates they admit is to cover business costs.

Copyright 2016 WFMJ

February 21, 2016

NEWS-Crain's Cleveland Business

By Dan Shingler

Welcome to the energy battle of Ohio: FirstEnergy vs. PUCO

Hello, fight fans. And welcome to the heavyweight battle of the modern era at Ohio Energy Regulation Arena. The matchup is sure to be a bruiser, and both corners say they’re confident they can win the huge purse represented by Northeast Ohio’s future electric rates.

There are hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars at stake, and one way or another, most area businesses and residents will be guarantors for the prize money.

Copyright 2016 Crain's Cleveland Business

February 18, 2016

NEWS-AP

Ohio energy deals sparks backlash from opponents

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Two proposed power agreements in Ohio are seeing a pushback campaign organized by alternative energy supporters.

The Alliance for Energy Choice says nearly 55,000 emails have been sent to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Gov. John Kasich's office and state legislators over the past two weeks.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press

February 18, 2016

NEWS-The Plain Dealer | Cleveland.com

By John Funk

FirstEnergy's stock price sags after 2015 earnings released, FERC filings

AKRON, Ohio -- FirstEnergy's stock price sank slowly most of Wednesday -- losing more than 3.5 percent of its value -- following a mid-morning teleconference between financial analysts and the company's top executives.

Though less than a dozen analysts participated in the teleconference, most of the questions focused on what the company might do if state or federal regulators knock out the special deal included in the company's proposed new rate plan pending before state regulators.

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

February 17, 2016

NEWS-ABC6

By Elizabeth Faugl

AEP requesting subsidy to update power plants, would increase bills

COLUMBUS — It's a commercial many people are noticing, warning you about an impending rate hike for AEP.

The power company says its old power plants are no longer cost effective and need to be updated. They want a subsidy to help them remain competitive and stabilize energy prices to come. But what does that mean for your energy bill?

Copyright 2016 ABC6

February 16, 2016

NEWS-13ABC Action News

By Alexis Means

NOAC opposes FirstEnergy Bailout and ask Kasich to stop deal

Toledo (13abc Action News) - First Energy is asking for a rate hike and wants customers to pay for it. The Northwest Ohio Aggregation Coalition (NOAC) are saying not so fast. They filed a motion with the federal government to stop the state of Ohio from approving the increase.

County Commissioners say customers shouldn't have to pay for First Energy's problems. According to a document the energy company is not selling all of the power they're making at it's Davis Besse Nuclear Power Plant. First Energy wants the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to impose a 3 billion dollar regulatory tax on customers.

Copyright 2016 13ABC Action News


February 16, 2016

NEWS-The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

By Casey Junkins

American Electric Power Reports $2 Billion Profit, Deal with Public Utilities Commission of Ohio 

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Opponents of American Electric Power's proposed settlement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio claim the deal will force the average customer to pay $99 more per year to a firm that reported $2 billion in profits last year, but company leaders said subscribers will actually save a collective $721 million during the next eight years.

Copyright 2016 The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

February 14, 2016

NEWS-The Toledo Blade

By Jon Chavez

TV ads duel over power rate proposal

FirstEnergy says plan will save customers $560M, but opponents charge that cost will be $4B

Pizza, coffee, majestic Ohio scenery, sunrise over a farm, windmills.

What do these have to do with your electric bill? 

Everything.

All are seen in new television commercials arguing for or against a pending rate plan by FirstEnergy Corp., the parent of Toledo Edison, that would guarantee profits over the next eight years at four of its power plants.

Copyright 2016 The Blade

February 10, 2016

NEWS-The Energy Collective

By Dick Munson

New Report Confirms FirstEnergy's $4-Billion Boondoggle

FirstEnergy’s plea to keep four aging power plants alive will cost Ohio customers almost $4 billion, according to a new study out today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The proposal is currently in front of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

The report, entitled A $4 Billion Bailout in the Buckeye State, outlines in clear terms how the utility giant hopes to force Ohioans to subsidize the continued operation of its outdated power plants, put customers on the hook for those plants’ escalating costs, and ensure future profits for FirstEnergy executives and shareholders.

Copyright 2016 The Energy Collective

February 8, 2016

NEWS-Statehouse News Bureau

By Andy Chow

Study Slams FirstEnergy Estimates For So-Called Coal Plant Bailout

A new study is providing more ammunition for opponents against the so-called coal plant bailout proposed by two electric utilities. 

The report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis -- or IEEFA -- says FirstEnergy’s plan to guarantee a profit for their struggling coal plants would cost consumers $4 billion.

Copyright 2016 Statehouse News Bureau

February 8, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

AARP mobilizing its members against AEP and FirstEnergy proposals

Another influential name is getting involved in two major Ohio electric power cases.

AARP, the group representing people age 50 and up, is drumming up member support to go after the proposals. Its entrance is important because of AARP's considerable clout in policy issues.

February 6, 2016

NEWS-Cleveland.com | The Plain Dealer

By John Funk

ArcelorMittal, Whirlpool, BASF oppose FirstEnergy, AEP rate increases

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The world's largest steelmaker, its largest chemical company and its largest appliance maker oppose FirstEnergy and AEP Ohio's requests to raise rates for up to eight years to subsidize operations of some of their old power plants.

ArcelorMittal, which provides 3,000 Ohio jobs, the chemical giant BASF Corp., with 10 Ohio facilities, and the Whirlpool Corp. which employs 10,000 in Ohio, have each written to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in opposition. 

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

February 5, 2016

NEWS-Cleveland.com | The Plain Dealer

By John Funk

$58 pizza, $20 coffee set tone of "crazy" FirstEnergy, AEP Ohio rate hikes

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Consumers facing a $20 tab for a cup of coffee or a $58 charge for a pizza react with "That's crazy!" in two television and radio spots created by a group opposing the rate increases sought by FirstEnergy and AEP Ohio because their power plants are no longer cost effective.

The Alliance for Energy Choice, a group of independent power companies competing for Ohio customers, has launched an advertising campaign to alert consumers to the cases, which the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio could approve as early as March. 

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

February 5, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

AEP considering striking back with TV ads to fight opponents' campaign

American Electric Power Company Inc. is considering airing ads to counter a new TV and radio campaign against its income-guarantee plan.

With about a month left until Ohio energy regulators are expected to decide on the case, both sides of the issue are doubling down to influence the public and policymakers. A group of independent power producers that operate in the same region as AEP (NYSE:AEP) began airing ads against the plan Friday. One of the Alliance for Energy Choice's ads compares AEP's proposal to a diner charging $20 for a cup of coffee.

Copyright 2016 bizjournals.com

February 4, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Rival Power Companies Launch TV Ads Against AEP, FirstEnergy Income-Guarantee Plans

A group of independent power producers opposing income-guarantee plans by two Ohio electric utilities is taking to the airwaves to spread their message.

The 30-second TV and radio ads try to boil down the complicated issue involving coal-fired power plants into something the average Ohioan might understand. One equates the utility's proposals to a pizza delivery driver hiking the price of the pies because his car broke down.

Copyright 2016 bizjournals.com

February 3, 2016

NEWS-Utility Dive

By Robert Walton

Dynegy, NRG Energy ask FERC to step in Ohio plant subsidy cases

Dive Brief:

  • Independent power producers have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to void power purchase agreements allowing two Ohio utilities to continue operating aging power plants through proposed regulatory agreements that would guarantee income from the struggling facilities, RTO Insider reports.

  • Generators Dynegy and NRG Energy appealed to FERC to rescind a waiver allowing the American Electric Power (AEP) and FirstEnergy to engage in affiliate power transactions, calling their current proposals "a clever scheme to shift costs."

Copyright 2016 Utility Dive

February 3, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Renewable energy charges to show up on AEP bills

American Electric Power Company Inc. customers will soon see the costs of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs on their bills.

An Ohio law that froze the state's alternative energy standards included a requirement that power companies include the cost of such programs on customers' bills. Ratepayers have always been charged for the programs, but those charges didn't show up as individual line items.

Copyright 2016 bizjournals.com

February 2, 2016

NEWS-The Columbus Dispatch

By Dan Gearino

Power-grid operator concerned about profit guarantees for plants

The operator of Ohio's electricity grid has some big concerns about profit-guarantee proposals for American Electric Power and FirstEnergy, but is treading carefully in its comments.

PJM Interconnection filed a brief on the AEP proposal on Monday, urging Ohio utility regulators to be aware of that subsidizing one set of power plants could discourage other companies from building new ones in the state.

Copyright 2016 The Columbus Dispatch

February 2, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

AEP's argument about power reliability a 'red herring,' electric grid operator PJM says

Who are you calling unreliable?

The electric grid operator that controls the flow of electricity across several states, including Ohio, says power reliability concerns voiced by a Columbus utility “are categorically misplaced.”

Copyright 2016 bizjournals.com

February 1, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Wal-Mart: AEP Ohio income guarantee 'a bad bargain that can't be undone'

American Electric Power Company Inc. has won over a lot of new friends in its Ohio income-guarantee case, but it still has a powerful opponent: America's biggest company. 

Wal-Mart Stores has long opposed AEP's plans. Many companies and environmental groups, in fact, opposed it and a similar proposal by Akron electric utility FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE).

Copyright 2016 bizjournals.com

January 30, 2016

NEWS-The Columbus Dispatch

By Dan Gearino 

Critics call FirstEnergy profit guarantee a corporate rescue mission

FirstEnergy presents a confident public face to support a controversial profit-guarantee, but the company has shown a much more vulnerable side in closed-door meetings with state leaders and others, describing the proposal as an attempt to stave off financial disaster.

These meetings, and the sympathies they inspired, helped lay the groundwork for a compromise plan released on Dec. 1, according to people present at the meetings and involved in the negotiations.

Copyright 2016 The Columbus Dispatch

January 30, 2016

NEWS-Cleveland.com | The Plain Dealer

By John Funk

Ohio voters against FirstEnergy, AEP power deals, worry about utility bills

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Huge majorities of Ohio voters are adamantly opposed to paying higher monthly electric bills bankrolling FirstEnergy and American Electric Power power plants, newly released polling shows.

FirstEnergy and AEP say their old coal-fired power plants and FirstEnergy's40-year-old Davis-Bessie nuclear plant are unable to compete in wholesale power markets dominated by new, natural gas power plants and wind turbines.

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

January 29, 2016

NEWS-The Hannah Report

Groups Caution Legislators against Proposed Utility Subsidies in New Polls

Leading opponents of the power purchase agreements (PPA) sought by American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio, FirstEnergy, Duke Energy, and Dayton Power & Light (DPL) released voter polls Friday that appeared to cast doubt on guaranteed subsidies for aging power plants currently before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

Former PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler led the release of polling data from Alliance for Energy Choice that shows more than 75 percent of “randomly selected” Ohio voters oppose PUCO-sanctioned bailouts of AEP and FirstEnergy. Over 63 percent agreed the rate request is an “unneeded government handout that comes at the expense of higher costs for families and businesses.” Fifty-five percent also opposed guaranteed profits from the increase.

Copyright 2016 The Hannah Report

January 29, 2016

NEWS-Midwest Energy News

By Kathiann M. Kowalski

Federal challenges could sink Ohio utilities’ income guarantee plans

New court cases and filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could derail FirstEnergy and American Electric Power’s plans to guarantee sales to affiliated power plants, even if Ohio regulators approve the deals.

On January 27, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel joined with competing electric generation companies and industry groups in asking FERC to review those plans, which environmental groups, consumer advocates and business challengers see as noncompetitive “bailouts.

Copyright 2016 Midwest Energy News

 

January 28, 2016

NEWS-The Columbus Dispatch

By Dan Gearino

AEP sales fall, profits rise in fourth quarter

A warm start to heating season has led to a drop in quarterly sales for American Electric Power. ...Fourth-quarter profit was $469 million up from $191 million ... For 2015 as a whole, sales were $16.5 billion, up from $16.4 million in the prior year, and profit was $2 billion, up from $1.6 billion. Without one-time events, profit would have been $1.8 billion, up from $1.7 billion.

Copyright 2016 The Columbus Dispatch

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January 28, 2016

NEWS-The Plain Dealer | Cleveland.com

By John Funk

FirstEnergy & AEP power deals violate FERC rules, say competitors, Consumers' Counsel agrees

WASHINGTON, D.C -- Several independent national power companies and their trade associations have asked federal regulators to take a look at the special power deals FirstEnergy and American Electric Power now have pending before Ohio regulators.

The independents want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to step in and review the plans first conceived by FirstEnergy and then copied by AEP to have their Ohio distribution companies buy power at whatever it costs to generate from their least competitive power plants, which are now owned by unregulated affiliated companies.

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

January 26, 2016

NEWS-The Statehouse News Bureau

By Andy Chow

PUCO Finishes Hearings On Utilities' Coal Plant Income Guarantee

FirstEnergy and AEP say adding a charge to customers’ monthly bills in order to guarantee income for struggling coal plants will stabilize costs and ensure grid stability. Opponents say this is an unnecessary bailout that helps ineffective and dirty coal plants.

But FirstEnergy’s Bill Ridmann says he believes they were able to clearly show the benefits of the plan during the hearings.

Copyright 2016 The Statehouse News Bureau

January 25, 2016

OPINION-CWRU Observer

By Anna Jones

Stock In Limelight: Dynegy Incorporated

On January 12, 2016, In response to the exorbitant and counter-productive subsidies currently under consideration for FirstEnergy and American Electric Power (AEP), Dynegy (DYN) announces two counter-proposals that it believes will save Ohio consumers billions of dollars over the next eight years, promote and protect Ohio jobs, aid in Ohio’s compliance with the Clean Power Plan, and encourage consumer and business growth.

Dynegy’s first proposal saves Ohio consumers and businesses $5 billion by providing the same amount of power promised under the FirstEnergy and AEP power purchase agreements (PPAs) at lower prices, $2.5 billion each in the FirstEnergy and AEP territories, over the 8-year term of the proposed PPAs.

Copyright 2016 CWRU Observer

January 20, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Power company CEOs lobby legislators to fight AEP and FirstEnergy income guarantees

Chief executives from four power companies were at the Statehouse Wednesday to let legislators and Gov. John Kasich's staff know their issues with income-guarantee plans from two electric utilities. 

CEOs from three Houston-based companies, Calpine Corp. (NYSE:CPN), Dynegy Inc. (NYSE:DYN), NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), and Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy Corp. (NYSE:TLN), are members of the Alliance for Energy Choice, a group of power providers opposed to plans put forth by American Electric Power Company Inc. (NYSE:AEP) and FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) that would re-regulate a portion of their Ohio power plants.

January 20, 2016

NEWS-The Plain Dealer | Cleveland.com

By John Funk

FirstEnergy Proposed Deal Means Regulation Not Working, State Power Companies In "Death Spiral," Says Consumer Watchdog Board

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The unprecedented efforts initiated by FirstEnergy and followed by American Electric Power to have customers temporarily subsidize power plants that they say can't compete have led to calls for reform.

The governing board of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel has released its analysis of the malaise gripping Ohio policy makers as technology and competition overtake the state's traditional utilities -- and consumers pay more for electricity than customers in 32 other states. 

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

January 19, 2016

Everyone is Unhappy: A Report by the Board of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel

The mood of the country is anything but upbeat right now. And that mood is reflected in how the state of Ohio’s investor-owned electrical industry is viewed by customers and by the industry itself and others.

First to the customers: thirty-two states have cheaper electricity for residential consumers than Ohio. Some of these are understandable, such as Washington and Idaho, as they have far more options for less expensive hydroelectric power where the infrastructure was developed and has been paid for decades ago. 

Copyright 2016 Ohio Consumers' Counsel

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January 19, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Cooper Tire CEO: Power proposals 'a political gift'
to AEP and FirstEnergy

A large Ohio tire manufacturer that typically stays out of politics is urging Gov. John Kasich to reject income-guarantee plans by two of the state’s electric utilities.

Findlay-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. CEO Roy Armes said in a letter to the governor that the proposals would impede the $3.42 billion company’s growth and add risk. The agreements, if approved by Ohio regulators, “will make it more difficult for Cooper Tire and other Ohio manufacturers to remain competitive in the global markets,” he said.

Copyright 2016 Columbus Business First

January 16, 2016

NEWS-The Morning Call

By Scott Kraus

Talen Joins Battle With Ohio Utilities

ALLENTOWN — In a fight that illustrates the fiercely competitive nature of its business, Talen Energy has joined a coalition of power producers opposing a settlement two Ohio utilities struck in 2015 with state regulators to preserve profits for power plants operated by their electricity generating subsidiaries.

The Ohio Public Utility Commission is holding hearings on the contested deals this month, with a decision expected by March.

Copyright 2016 The Morning Call

January 15, 2016

NEWS-The Plain Dealer | Cleveland.com

By John Funk

FirstEnergy rate change for Davis-Besse, Sammis would stay to 2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- FirstEnergy's proposed eight-year rate plan could disappear after three years, but the special deal it contains to have customers subsidize two old power plants would continue until 2024.

Eileen M. Mikkelsen, director of rates and regulatory affairs for the company's three Ohio power companies, agreed under cross-examination Thursday that after the first three years the Public Utilities Commission would have to review the rate plan.

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

January 12, 2016 

NEWS-The Hannah Report

Free-Market Supporters Pan ‘Re-Regulation’ of Ohio, PJM Energy Markets

Supporters of a competitive electric market said Tuesday the power purchase agreements (PPA) favored by incumbent utilities and scorned as “re-regulation” by numerous stakeholders will distort energy prices not only in Ohio but also in the larger, 13-state region of PJM Interconnection, which has sought to intervene in the FirstEnergy case scheduled this week for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) said guaranteed subsidies variously sought by FirstEnergy, American Electric Power of Ohio, and Duke Energy for aging coal-fired plants and one nuclear plant will hurt both residential and commercial consumers, the latter which can place heavy demands on the electric grid, OMA said.

Copyright 2016 The Hannah Report

January 12, 2016

NEWS-The Plain Dealer | Cleveland.com

By John Funk

New power plants using Ohio gas
could replace FirstEnergy's old coal and nuclear

HOUSTON, Texas -- Dynegy, an independent power company with 10 Ohio power plants, is offering to supply electricity for the next eight years to FirstEnergy and American Electric Power customers for less money than either of them are asking.

FirstEnergy and AEP each have unprecedented cases pending before state regulators for approval of special deals allowing them to charge customers extra money just to subsidize their old coal-burning, and in FirstEnergy's case, the Davis-Besse nuclear plant, to keep them operating for the next eight years.

Copyright 2016 The Plain Dealer

January 12, 2016

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

AEP and FirstEnergy rivals offer alternatives to income guarantees

A familiar foe to Ohio electric utilities' income-guarantee plans has offered an alternative proposal, joining the country's biggest nuclear power generator as decision time looms for state regulators.

Power generators Dynegy Inc. and Exelon Corp. say they have proposals that would be better for Ohio ratepayers.

Copyright 2016 Columbus Business First

January 12, 2016

NEWS-Dayton Daily News

By Thomas Gnau

Utilities Profit Deal Opposed

A proposal that would provide a profit guarantee to two Ohio power utilities is costly for businesses and amounts to an unnecessary bailout, according to a state association of manufacturers that is calling on regulators to reject the deal.

The Ohio Manufacturers Association is concerned about the proposed profit-guarantee deals for First Energy in Akron and American Electric Power in Columbus that are meant to support the operation of more expensive and sometimes older coal-fired or nuclear plants.

Copyright 2016 Dayton Daily News

January 7, 2016

NEWS-Ohio Public Radio

By Andy Chow

A Look at Proposed Power Purchase Agreements in Ohio

Utilities, energy officials and environmental advocates are debating a proposal that would set the stage for the future of energy in Ohio.

For the average consumer, it could mean paying higher electric bills. Who should be paying to keep power plants afloat that are inefficient and don’t do very well in the market - the utility company or its customers?

That’s the question these proposals, known as power purchase agreements, boil down to.

Copyright 2016 Ohio Public Radio

December 30, 2015

NEWS-Columbus Business First

By Tom Knox

Opposition lays out case against AEP/Sierra Club deal

American Electric Power Company Inc. reached an agreement over its proposed income-guarantee plan this month with an array of groups with interest in the case, but many are still against it.

Two weeks after Ohio regulatory staff recommended approval of the utility’s power purchase agreement, or PPA, stakeholders in regulatory filings are saying why they think the eight-year agreement with the Sierra Club, business groups and others is a bad deal.

Copyright 2015 Columbus Business First

December 30, 2015

NEWS-The Columbus Dispatch

By Dan Gearino

AEP coal-plant guarantee plan will cost consumers, PUCO told

AEP Ohio customers would pay about $5 to $8 more each month if the utility receives its proposed profit guarantee for certain power plants, according to a consumer group’s estimate.

That stands in contrast to the company’s assertion that the plan would lead to a net savings for consumers.

Copyright 2015 The Columbus Dispatch

December 15, 2015

NEWS-Utility Dive

By Robert Walton

First Energy’s plant subsidy proposal
could triple fixed charges, critics say

Dive Brief:

  • A modified proposal to support two struggling Ohio power plants would raise rates and fixed charges, discourage distributed generation and send a mixed message on efficiency, opponents say.

  • FirstEnergy filed the settlement this month, proposing to increase the portion of distribution fixed costs over a three-year period as it looks to guarantee income for its plans, Midwest Energy news reports. The news outlet reports that language in the settlement could triple these costs.

Copyright 2015 Utility Dive


December 15, 2015

NEWS-The Columbus Dispatch

By Dan Gearino

Former PUCO chief lobbies against
profit guarantees for certain AEP plants

A familiar face in Ohio utility regulation is helping to lead a campaign against profit-guarantee proposals for American Electric Power and FirstEnergy.

Todd Snitchler, who was Public Utilities Commission of Ohio chairman from 2011 to 2013, has come forward as the public face for a coalition of companies that says the proposals will undermine the state’s competitive market.

Copyright 2015 The Columbus Dispatch

December 15, 2015

NEWS-Midwest Energy News

By Kathiann M. Kowalski

Critics say proposed FirstEnergy settlement
still a bad deal for customers

Opponents of FirstEnergy’s plan to guarantee sales for some of its less profitable nuclear and coal plants continue to say a proposed settlement is still an uncompetitive “bailout” with no net benefit to consumers.

“This settlement will cost ratepayers another $10.50 a month,” said Kathy Keller of AARP Ohio. “That’s a huge whopping impact on people with fixed incomes.”

Copyright 2015 Midwest Energy News

December 15, 2015

NEWS-Cleveland.com

By John Funk

Electric competition short-circuited in Ohio?
PUCO considering second power purchase deal

COLUMBUS -- Ohio's two largest legacy utilities are fighting challenges from cheaper competitors that use natural gas by asking the state to approve subsidies, paid for by customers, to keep their older plants operating through 2029.

Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. filed its request two weeks ago. On Monday, Columbus-based AEP followed suit.

Copyright 2015 The Plain Dealer

December 3, 2015

NEWS-Cleveland.com

By John Funk

FirstEnergy deal will destroy competition, say opponents,
want new hearings

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Consumers could see competition for their business disappear -- and monthly bills increase -- if state regulators approve FirstEnergy's latest rate proposal, a coalition of consumer, environmental and industry groups said Thursday. 

In a press conference, the AARP, independent power company Dynergy, the Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Council and several regional and national industry groups said the unprecedented deal to require FirstEnergy customers to pay extra to keep two of the company's older, no-longer-regulated power plants running will destroy competition in the state.

Copyright 2015 The Plain Dealer

December 1, 2015

NEWS-Cleveland.com

By John Funk

FirstEnergy opponents have sharp criticism for latest rate plan

COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Reaction to FirstEnergy's latest proposal to have customers subsidize two of its large but aging Ohio power plants unable to compete with new gas-fired plants has been swift and incriminating.

Opponents Tuesday repudiated both the company and the staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio which negotiated the terms of the plan in private meetings over the last month. 

Copyright 2015 The Plain Dealer