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    Consumers' office says AES Ohio electric customers are due $60M refund


    August 2, 2022 - Thomas Gnau, Dayton Daily News, Ohio

     

      Aug. 2—In a recent flurry of legal filings before state regulators, the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel is accusing Dayton electric utility AES Ohio of unlawfully collecting a charge from local customers from August last year until June — and the office argues that consumers are due a $60 million refund.

      "The strange reality is that DP&L has collected the stability charge from consumers since Aug. 11, 2021 without a lawful PUCO tariff," the office (OCC) says in one filing.

      The office, which represents state electric customers, is advising 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.

      An AES Ohio representative says the company has complied with PUCO orders.

      The utility maintains that neither state regulators nor state courts have ruled that any of the rates collected by AES Ohio after since August 2021 are subject to refund.

      "OCC has not demonstrated any bad faith or injury to customers to justify such sanctions," said AES Ohio spokeswoman Mary Ann Kabel.

      "AES Ohio recognizes the importance of complying with commission (PUCO) orders and the need to maintain final versions of its tariffs in all required dockets," the utility said in a July 25 filing. "AES Ohio further stresses that it did not, and would not, deliberately disobey or disregard an order of the Commission."

      However, OCC seized on one statement in a recent AES Ohio filing, in which the utility said it would "not object to any clarification by the commission on rehearing" about the disputed tariff.

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

      A PUCO spokesman said the new request for rehearing by the OCC is pending before the commission. "I cannot speculate how the commission will rule on it," spokesman Matt Schilling said.

      ___

      (c)2022 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

      Visit the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) at www.daytondailynews.com

      Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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