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"Secret" Rates at Issue in Ohio

Fortnightly Magazine - September 1 1996

The Ohio Steel Commission is urging the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to refuse confidential treatment to discounted rate agreements between electric companies and their customers, arguing that such treatment denies energy users access to information that would help them negotiate competitive rates. The 16-member Steel Commission's request responds to the PUC's decision to keep the terms of a contract between Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and American Steel & Wire Corp. secret until at least October 1996.

"If utilities can keep their rate agreements secret, existing energy users will have the worst of both worlds (em no access to information about what our local electric companies can do for us, and no access to the broader electricity marketplace and the suppliers that are anxious to meet our price and service objectives," says Harold V. Kelly, Steel Commission co-chairman. t

Lori A. Burkhart is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.

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