State regulator nixes AES Ohio refund arguments

Dayton utility told to file revised tariffs

State electric utility regulators voted Wednesday to order Dayton utility AES Ohio to file final revised tariffs effective as of Aug. 11, 2021 — but denied a consumers’ office request for customer refunds.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted in part and denied in part an Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel’s application for rehearing on the matter. One commission member recused himself. There was no discussion.

There will be no additional hearings on the issue, a PUCO spokesman said.

The consumers office had accused AES Ohio of unlawfully collecting a charge from Dayton-area customers from August last year until June — for a lack of a tariff filed with the proper regulatory language.

The office argued that consumers, as a result, were due a $60 million refund.

Tariffs govern how much electric or natural gas companies can charge customers

The office, which represents state electric customers, had asked state regulators to order AES Ohio — also known in legal matters as Dayton Power and Light or “DP&L” — to return to consumers “stability” charges “it collected without an authorized tariff” since August 2021.

“The PUCO should order DP&L to return $60 million in one lump-sum bill credit on consumers’ bills,” the office said in a July 15 filing with the commission.

AES Ohio has charged customers $76 million a year under its “stability” charge, according to the consumers’ office. The office has been skeptical of the need for such a charge.

An AES Ohio spokeswoman had said there was no call for refunds, saying the company had complied with regulatory orders.

“This situation involving the PUCO and AES has been odd from the get-go for Dayton-area consumers. We’re not satisfied with the PUCO’s ruling today, and we’ll be considering our legal options for consumer protection,” a representative of the consumers’ office said in an email Wednesday.

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