The Ohio Public Utilities Commission has reaffirmed its approved guidelines for the provision of "Conjunctive Electric Service" by utilities in the state, rejecting arguments by consumer advocates that the plan won't do much for residential customers.
The guidelines, first approved on Christmas Eve last year, had required the utilities to permit customers of all types to aggregate their loads to derive greater energy savings than they could achieve individually. See, Re
Conjunctive Electric Service Guidelines, Case No. 96-4006-COI, Dec. 24, 1996, 174 PUR4th 96, (Ohio P.U.C.). But consumer advocates had claimed that the guidelines would fail to ensure adequate participation by residential customers. Utilities also complained that the commission should have acted to better protect utility revenues during the life of the pilot.
On review, the PUC declined to change the guidelines, explaining that any modification of the program to ensure participation by an individual class of customers, such as residential users, would interfere with one primary purpose of the pilot (em i.e., to determine what
competitive service would be offered in a competitive market. Similarly, the commission ruled that the addition of additional conditions designed to protect utility revenues might hamper the development of meaningful aggregation and dilute the validity of the experiment. Re Conjunctive Electric Service Guidelines, Case No. 96-406-EL-COI, Feb. 27, 1997 (Ohio P.U.C.).