- American Electric Power subsidiary Ohio Power Company is appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court the decision by Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that net-metering customers are entitled to the retail price for the electricity their distributed energy resource (DER) systems send to the grid.
- FirstEnergy Ohio, Dayton Power & Light, and Duke Energy joined Ohio Power’s objection to the PUCO ruling and may join an appeal that would reinterpret the net metering law and significantly affect the value proposition of DERs.
- The utilities argue the PUCO ruling requires reimbursement of DER-generated electricity at 100% of the retail price while only the 85% “energy value” of the retail rate should be reimbursed because the other 15% covers distribution system costs and is applicable to all system users.
A successful appeal by the utilities could have a major impact on the growth of renewables in Ohio that is already threatened by the recent enactment of Ohio Senate Bill 310, which imposed a two-year freeze on renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.
The utilities also argued the PUCO ruling failed to follow the 2002 Ohio Supreme Court ruling that DER owners should not be reimbursed for the 15% distribution system charge. FirstEnergy and other utilities supported Senate Bill 310 and FirstEnergy is fighting to exclude demand response from the 2017-2018 PJM capacity auction.
The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal attorneys read the PUCO ruling to say DER owners are entitled to the full retail rate. Ohio regulators said their decision was compliant with the 2002 ruling and with Ohio law that prohibits Ohio utilities from buying electricity at 85% of the retail rate from net metering customers and selling it at 100% retail to unregulated affiliates.