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    NOPEC plan to switch 550,000 customers is challenged


    September 8, 2022 - Sean McDonnell - smcdonnell@cleveland.com

     

      NOPEC’s plan to cut utility bills for 550,000 electric customers by moving them to their utility’s standard service offer is being challenged by an energy supplier who would have to pick up the increased load.

      Wholesale electricity supplier Dynegy is asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to stop NOPEC from shedding its customers and to investigate NOPEC’s choice to do so. The company said NOPEC’s plans could have a “significant and potentially devastating impact” on Ohio’s electricity market.

      Otherwise, Dynegy would need to ramp up its services to fill former NOPEC customers’ needs.

      This is because Dynegy sells FirstEnergy the power sent to customers on the default option — often called the standard service option or the “price to compare.”

      Dynegy is responsible for 32% of the power sent to customers on FirstEnergy’s standard service offer.

      NOPEC wants to make the switch because most of its customers were paying 12 cents a kilowatt-hour, while the utility default rate was between 6.7 and 6.8 cents in FirstEnergy territories.

      A sudden shift of 550,000 customers, however, isn’t something Dynegy and other suppliers prepared for when those prices were set.

      Dynegy said it and other companies will need to shop on the open market to meet the increased demand.

      PUCO has not heard the case yet. NOPEC spokesperson Dave Jankowski said the aggregator doesn’t comment on active legal matters.

      But it is continuing to transition customers to the standard service offer based on where they live.

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