For the past year the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has been letting people across the state know they can choose their electric distributor.
They’ll come to Middletown next week to the MidPointe Library, 125 S. Broad St., to address any questions and concerns from electric customers as they may have received a phone call, literature through the mail or a door-to-door solicitor.
PUCO spokesman Jason Gilham said there has been an increase in businesses soliciting customers of a region’s largest electric company distributors, such as Duke Energy or Dayton Power and Light in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas, respectively.
He said it does not matter to the state’s utilities regulator if bill payers go with the largest company or one of the smaller electric distributors trying to enter a particular market. But what does matter, Gilham said, is customers having their questions and concerns addressed.
“We just want to make sure they’re comfortable,” Gilham said. “I think people are used to shopping for their cellphone to get the best deal, or for their car insurance. They’re not used to this.”
During the past 13 years, there have been a number of legislative changes in the electric and natural gas industry in the state. Since July 2012, when PUCO created the Office of Retail Competition, the utilities regulator has been focused on improving awareness, trust and understanding of market-based utility service in Ohio.
There has been about 600 of these information sessions around the state since last July, Gilham said. Next week’s session will be presented by Lauren Smalley from PUCO’s Office of Retail Competition.
Topics that will be covered Monday include:
- What electric choice means
- What to consider when shopping for an electric generation supplier
- How to use the free tools available through the PUCO, like their Apples to Apples charts
- How to switch electric generation suppliers