Contact: Marty Berkowitz (614) 387-2962
Opportunity for public testimony on Duke's electric and natural gas rate increase proposals
COLUMBUS, OH – Feb. 14, 2013 – Duke Energy Ohio (Duke) customers could see increases to their electric and natural gas bills if the utility's proposals are approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). According to Duke’s estimates, a typical residential customer would see their monthly electric bill increase by about $6.50, and their natural gas bill increase by about $10.25 per month.
Consumers have opportunities to provide their opinion about the energy rate increases at upcoming local public hearings held by the PUCO:
Tuesday, February 19th at 6:30 pm
Fairfield Township Administrative Building
6032 Morris Road
Wednesday, February 20th at 6:30 pm
Union Township Civic Center Hall
4350 Aicholtz Road
Monday, February 25th at 6:30 pm
City Building, City Council Chambers
1 Donham Plaza
Thursday, February 28th at 12:30 pm
Cincinnati City Hall, Council Chambers
801 Plum Street
The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) is advocating in both cases on behalf of Duke’s 610,000 electric and 380,000 natural gas residential customers, respectively. OCC has recommended that the PUCO deny any costs to customers that are unreasonable or unjustified.
The key issues in the rate cases include:
- Profit: At issue in both the electric and gas cases is the amount of profit Duke’s shareholders should gain from the distribution rates that customers pay.
- Manufactured gas plants: In the natural gas case, Duke is proposing to charge consumers $65 million over a three-year period to clean up two former manufactured gas plant sites. Before developing the ability to access natural gas through drilling, people used man-made or manufactured gas to light and heat their homes. OCC is advocating that the PUCO reject any charges related to these projects that aren’t necessary to provide safe and reliable natural gas service to customers.
- Streetcar project: Duke has also proposed an option to charge Cincinnati customers for costs to relocate and replace utility lines associated with the city’s streetcar project. The amount of, and the responsibility for, these costs are still to be determined.
- Right-of-way: Duke has asked the PUCO to extend its right to enter a customer’s property to install lines or pipes that serve other customers. This would give the utility unlimited access to a customer’s private property to install equipment, without compensating the customer. Currently, Duke’s access is limited to property along streets and roads. OCC is recommending that the PUCO maintain Duke’s right-of-way access as it currently stands.
To find out more about the rate proposal, click here or visit: http://www.pickocc.org/electric/duke.shtml
Customers can also file a comment about either case by visiting http://goo.gl/rvuC9 (electric) and/or http://goo.gl/bONIO (natural gas).
Customers can also write to the PUCO. All letters and envelopes should include the customer’s name and address, and reference case numbers 12-1682 (electric) or 12-1685 (natural gas), and Duke Energy Ohio. The PUCO’s address is:
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
RE: Case No. 12-1682-EL-AIR (electric)
RE: Case No. 12-1685-GA-AIR (natural gas)
180 E. Broad Street, 11th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
For more information about how to testify at a local public hearing, visit: http://www.pickocc.org/publications/general_occ_information/How_to_Testify.pdf
About the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel
The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC), the residential utility consumer advocate, represents the interests of 4.5 million households in proceedings before state and federal regulators and in the courts. The state agency also educates consumers about electric, natural gas, telephone and water issues. For more information, please visit the OCC website at www.pickocc.org