Protecting Ohio Utility Consumers for Over 20 Years
NOPEC Advocates for Consumer-Friendly Energy Rates and Policies
As the largest public retail energy aggregation in Ohio, NOPEC supplies electricity and natural gas to consumers in 240 Ohio communities. But that isn't all we do. NOPEC provides important member benefits that support the communities, residents, and small businesses that we serve. One of those benefits is advocating for consumer-friendly utility rates and policies. Over the past 20+ years, NOPEC has worked to protect Ohio consumers from unreasonable utility rate increases and unfair regulation, while preserving consumer energy choice in Ohio.
Working closely with the Ohio Consumers' Council (OCC) and other intervenors, NOPEC was instrumental in negotiating a settlement at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) with FirstEnergy Ohio utilities involving past earnings that exceeded the “significantly excessive earnings” test in Ohio law. FirstEnergy Ohio utilities agreed to refund $306 million to their Ohio customers. Residential customers served by the FirstEnergy Ohio utilities will receive refunds of about $85 each over several years, with small businesses receiving larger refunds. The first installment of the refund was received by NOPEC’s CEI and Ohio Edison customers (and all other FirstEnergy Ohio Utilities customers) in January 2022.
Working with other consumer advocates, including OCC, NOPEC intervened at FERC in this interstate gas pipeline company rate increase case, on behalf of our natural gas aggregation customers served by Columbia Gas of Ohio. This case was settled at a lower than proposed rate increase amount. Together with OCC and others, we successfully advocated to put the lower settlement transmission rates in effect in time for the 21-22 winter heating season.
Working with many other consumer groups, including the OCC, NOPEC intervened in this FERC interstate gas pipeline company rate increase case on behalf of our Dominion Energy Ohio (DEO) natural gas aggregation customers. This case was settled at a lower rate increase than what the pipeline proposed. The settlement also resulted in a refund of over $7 million to DEO customers.
NOPEC intervened in this case at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and supported OCC in its complaint against American Electric Power (AEP). FERC ruled in favor of the complaint ordering that AEP’s transmission company should not charge an additional 50 basis points in its rate of return which the FERC had allowed to incentivize transmission owners to voluntarily join regional transmission organizations (RTO) because Ohio law already required AEP to join PJM, the RTO for Ohio. AEP is refunding about $18 million to Ohio electric consumers as a result of these efforts.
NOPEC intervened in this Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) case on behalf of our Columbia Gas of Ohio aggregation customers. Working jointly with the OCC, PUCO Staff and others, NOPEC helped negotiate a settlement that resulted in a smaller natural gas distribution rate increase than what Columbia Gas of Ohio had proposed. Under the settlement approved by the PUCO, the utility received an increase in its base distribution rates of about $68 million on an annual basis, only a third of the original $221 million the utility had requested. That's a $153 million reduction in the amount of the proposed increase.