Ohio Governor Signs Electric Choice Into Law
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed the state's electric restructuring
bill Tuesday. All Ohio customers are to have a choice of suppliers
beginning Jan. 1, 2001. Beginning Jan. 1, 2001 consumers will enjoy
a mandatory rate reduction of 5% provided for in the bill and be
able to purchase electricity from whichever company they choose.
"The same entrepreneurial drive which led Ohio-native Thomas
Edison to master electricity will now drive the electricity
marketplace," Taft said. "The bottom line is that competition will
bring affordable energy prices for families and businesses. Ohio
businesses will also remain competitive as more states deregulate
their electric industry and our state will be on competitive
footing against states that seek to take our jobs."
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will require
electric companies to spend more than $30 million over the next six
years informing the public on how to shop and understand the
The legislation goes into affect 90 days from Tuesday.
Additional details, such as the amount of "stranded cost" payments
allowed to electric companies and specific implementation rules,
will be worked out by the PUCO by Jan. 1, 2001.
Full, statewide competition in retail electric sales begins Jan.
1, 2001. Between then and now, the PUCO will: draft and adopt rules
and regulations; accept required filings from Ohio's eight
investor-owned electric utilities to separate rate
components-generation, transmission and distribution-separate
corporate structure, and create operational support plans for
competition; accept voluntary filings from electric utilities on
plans to transfer either the ownership or control of transmission
to an independent third party prior to Dec. 31, 2003. The PUCO also
will hold public hearings on the transition plans to be filed by
electric utility companies; adopt transition plans for each of
Ohio's investor owned utilities by October, 2000.
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