NFIB Urges Senate Committee to Vote ‘Yes’ on Utilities Bill

Senate Bill 143 would improve transparency in Ohio’s rate-setting process

NFIB State Director Chris Ferruso went before the state Senate Committee on Energy & Public Utilities to speak in support of Senate Bill 143, legislation that would increase transparency in the setting of utility rates in Ohio.

“We believe Senate Bill 143 is an important step in Ohio’s electric rate-setting process that creates more transparency to consumers,” Ferruso said. “At the same time, we want to ensure Ohio continues to have reliable, affordable electricity and that any energy policy does not disrupt the ability to maintain and develop the infrastructure necessary to serve the existing customer base and new economic development projects that have and will continue to locate in Ohio.”

Ohio passed electric deregulation in 1999 to create a competitive landscape for consumers to find the best deal on their electric utility costs. In 2008, the state created electric security plans (ESPs) to establish a standard service. ESPs allow electric distribution utilities to seek revenue from customers for any number of purposes at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Ferruso pointed out that ESPs often include non-bypassable riders – charges that must be paid and cannot be shopped around, irrespective of the competitive market. SB143 would repeal ESPs, requiring that the standard service offer be established under a competitive market rate offer.

“We are optimistic this provision will provide consumers with potential cost savings,” Ferruso said. Click here to read Ferruso’s full written testimony.

The committee did not immediately vote on the measure.

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