Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PUCO schedules local public hearings for Duke Energy Ohio distribution rate cases

PUCO has announced the schedule for the public hearings on the proposed Duke Streetcar Electric Bill Tax. Cincinnati area residents will be most interested in the hearings on February 20 at 6:30 pm at the Union Township Civic Center - 4359 Aicholtz Road, Cincinnati, OH 45245 and February 28 at 12:30 pm at City Hall.

COAST opposes the proposed Streetcar Electric Bill Tax because it would create a hidden tax and allow elected officials to shift the cost of the Streetcar and similar projects onto electric bills rather than being paid for with tax receipts. The plan also blurs the line between government and utilities - creating an incentive for irresponsible and unaccountable votes by City Council. 

If the rate increase is denied, COAST anticipates that the City of Cincinnati will itself have to pay for the utility relocation costs, which is where the expense belongs.

Speak out and attend these hearings, make sure PUCO knows that you oppose this pernicious hidden tax.
While you await the hearings, you can submit your electronic comment here.  Make sure to reference Case No. 12-1682-EL-AIR
Read the PUCO Press Release below:

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Jan. 18, 2013) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today scheduled four local public hearings to provide the public an opportunity to express their views regarding Duke Energy Ohio’s applications to increase rates for electric and natural gas distribution services. The hearings are scheduled as follows:
                Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Fairfield Township Administrative Building
6032 Morris Road 
Hamilton, 45011
                Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. 
Union Township Civic Center Hall 
4350 Aicholtz Road
 Cincinnati, 45245
                Monday, February 25, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
 City Building, City Council Chambers
 1 Donham Plaza 
Middletown, 45042
                Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.
 Cincinnati City Hall, Council Chambers
 801 Plum Street 
Cincinnati, 45202
The evidentiary hearing for the electric rate case will be begin March 25, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the PUCO offices in Columbus, and the evidentiary hearing for the natural gas rate case will begin at the conclusion of the electric hearing.
On July 9, 2012, Duke filed separate applications to increase rates for both electric and natural gas distribution rates. Duke is seeking to increase electric distribution revenues by $86,581,974, or approximately 24.02 over current revenues. Duke is also seeking to increase natural gas distribution revenues by $44,607,929, or approximately 18.09 percent over current revenues.
The PUCO staff filed its reports of investigation in each case on Jan. 4, 2013.
While the Commission is considering these applications separately, those who testify at the local public hearing may offer comments on both electric and natural gas cases and their testimony will be added to both case records.
Customers may also submit comments online or by mail addressed to 180 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215. Correspondence should include the electric and/or natural gas case numbers 12-1682-EL-AIR and 12-1687-GA-AIR, respectively.


  1. Guys come on. I'm against rate increases just like the next guy, but this has nothing to do with the streetcar.

    The Rate increase would bring in $130 million in one year. Even duke said at MOST the streetcar was only going to be $18 million in costs total. The Brent Spence Bridge relocation is going to cost Duke $87 million one time, yet the rate increase they are asking would fund both of those, with change for years!

    This is just a big money grab and has nothing to do with the streetcar.

    1. So I guess you also believe it when the City said it would ONLY cost $18 million? You may want to ask DUKE what it's going to cost them to move roads, signs, etc to accomodate the streetcar and add that to the cost. It's not $18 million!

  2. Roger, we really don't understand what your disagreement with us is on this, we oppose the proposed rate increase for the mass transit program.

    Further, if you'd actually read the proposal, you'd know that the Duke request has nothing to do with the Brent Spence Bridge Project - "It would not include Federal or State government entities (or Administrative Agencies)." available here http://www.scribd.com/doc/117739842/Duke-Puco-Pre-filing-2012 at page 141 of the document.

    Unless you think the CIty of Cincinnati is going to undertake the Brent Spence Bridge project on its own, the rider would have no effect on the Brent Spence project.

  3. Good point- and I'm definitely against this rate increase. I guess my confusion is, if Duke says the rate increase is in large part for the streetcar, why did PUCO staff say it brings in a total of $130 million in new revenue for Duke when Duke themselves said the most the streetcar could cost is $18 million in utility work. Is it that $18 million of the $130 is for the streetcar and the rest is just additional revenue for other projects around the state/region?

    No one has really reported it very clearly so I'm a bit confused on the finer details. All I know is, Duke has raised the delivery portion of their bill about 200% in 10 years. Other than the Federal Debt and gas prices, I can't think of much else that has gone up that much in 10 years!

  4. Roger, there are multiple issue involved in the Duke Case. One issue is the proposed rider that would allow Cincinnati to add a separate fee onto ratepayer's electric bills to cover the cost of relocating utility lines for the Streetcar. Duke expects that to cost around $18 Million. This is the Streetcar Tax.

    Separate from the Streetcar tax is a general proposal to raise all rates - that is the $130 Million that you are referring to.

    These are two separate and distinct issues.

    Hope that clarifies.

  5. Any costs Duke incurs for the streetcar is solely the responsibility for those who voted to have it. Namely, Cincinnati City Council and residents of Cincinnati. No one else had a vote on this project. No taxation without representation!


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