AGA Survey and Statistics System; AGA-CEE Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Survey: Utility expenditures for gas efficiency programs exclude data that have not been released by participating companies at the state level; U.S. Energy Information Administration; and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Statewide Elected Officials Next Election: 2018
John Kasich (Rep.)Governor
Mary Taylor (Rep.)Lieutenant Governor
Mike DeWine (Rep.)Attorney General
Legislature Next Election: 2018Session Dates: 1/5/2016-12/2016
Term: 4 year
President: Keith Faber
President Pro Tempore: Larry Obhof
Senate Majority Leader: Tom Patton
Senate Minority Leader: Joe Schiavoni
Senate Member Breakdown
House of Representatives
Term: 2 year
Speaker of the House: Clifford Rosenberger
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House: Ron Amstutz
Majority Leader: Barbara Sears
Minority Leader: Fred Strahorn
House of Representatives Member Breakdown
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Commissioners: Gubernatorial appointment, Senate confirmation : 5 year termChairperson: Appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor: Indefinite terms
Asim Z. Haque, ChairmanAppointed by Governor John Kasich 2013; current term expires in 2021
Lynn Slaby (R), Commissioner Appointed by Governor John Kasich 2012; term expires in 2017
M. Beth Trombold (I), Commissioner Appointed by Governor John Kasich 2013; term expires in 2018
Thomas Johnson (R), CommissionerAppointed by Governor John Kasich 2014; term expires in 2019
M. Howard Petricoff (D), Commissioner Appointed by Governor John Kasich 2016; term expires in 2020
Ohio’s energy plan was codified in 2012 via SB 315, legislation that translated 10 pillars into a comprehensive energy policy that supports a diverse mix of reliable, low-cost energy sources that meet Ohio’s continuing job-creation needs.
The pillars include the following:
SHALE: Modernizing regulations while promoting job growth SB 315 builds on previously approved upgrades to well-construction standards PUCO Pipeline Safety Division will update regulations for construction, inspection and safety of new pipelines; GENERATION: Ensuring Ohio’s generation capacity and investing in new technologies; PUCO will update the advanced portion of Ohio’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard to include appropriate upgrades to coal-fired generation facilities and for conversion to natural gas; OEPA will work with PUCO; review and pilot new generation and efficiency technologies; ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION: Meeting needs of industry and consumers; COGENERATION/WASTE HEAT RECOVERY: Capturing waste heat to make green energy; WORKFORCE TRAINING: Aligning industry needs with workforce training; CNG/ALTERNATIVE FUELS: Promoting the use of natural gas; Governor’s Office/ PUCO/ ODOT will sign an agreement with other states to develop regional CNG refueling infrastructure and promote the usage of CNG vehicles; assess converting all or part of the state fleet to CNG; develop a revolving loan fund for alternative fuels; ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Promoting efficiency to save resources; COAL: New opportunities for a critical resource; REGULTATORY REFORM: Streamline and expedite environmental permits; RENEWABLES: Promoting renewables for a balanced energy portfolio.
Ohio’s gas utilities have been offering energy efficiency measures dating back to the 1980s. On April 10, 2006, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved Vectren’s proposal to implement a suite of energy conservation programs.
On January 24, 2006, as amended on August 16, 2006, Duke Energy Ohio (Duke) filed applications to implement a set of natural gas demand side management (DSM) programs for residential, commercial, and industrial consumers, as well as a research DSM program. Duke requested the ability to recover the costs of the DSM programs through DSM cost recovery riders applicable to residential gas sales and non-residential electric sales. The PUCO approved these programs on July 11, 2007.
On July 23, 2008, the PUCO approved Columbia Gas of Ohio’s DSM plan.
On October 15, 2008, the PUCO approved a Stipulation and Recommendation ("Stipulation") in Dominion East Ohio’s (DEO) last rate case that, among other things, established an annual level of demand side management ("DSM") expenditures by DEO of $9.5 million. This represented an annual $6 million increase over the annual DSM expenditures of $3.5 million previously funded through DEO's distribution base rates and shareholder contributions. The Stipulation provides for recovery of $4 million of the increased DSM expenditures through a DSM Rider with the remainder to be recovered in base rates. As also provided in the Stipulation, DEO has worked with a collaborative consisting of DEO, Commission Staff, the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, and other parties to determine the use of the DSM funding. The collaborative agreed that $6.5 million annually is to be used for low-income weatherization and $3.0 million annually is to be used to provide energy efficiency programs for non-low income customers.
DEO’s energy efficiency programs for non-low income customers include (1) a residential energy audit program under the guidelines of the national Home Performance with Energy Star program, which provides rebates for qualifying energy efficiency improvements by customers, and (2) a nonresidential energy assessment program to provide efficiency recommendations and information to qualified nonresidential customers.
The Ohio General Assembly considered legislation to make it easier for utilities to expand natural gas infrastructure in the state. Specifically, HB 319 would have amended and enacted certain sections of the Ohio Revised Code to allow natural gas companies to apply for an infrastructure development rider to cover the costs of certain economic projects. Under the bill, a natural gas company would have been able to file an application with the PUCO or approval of an infrastructure development rider to cover prudently incurred costs for economic development projects. The rider would have been a fixed monthly charge for all customers of the natural gas company as determined by the PUCO. This bill died at the close of the legislative session.
On November 25, 2014, Senator Troy Balderson (R) filed, S. B. No. 391, which allows gas utilities to file an application with the public utilities commission for approval of an infrastructure development rider to recover prudently incurred infrastructure development costs of one or more economic development projects approved under section 4929.163 or 4929.164 of the Revised Code. This bill was passed in the senate. The house concurrently passed H.B. No 319 on December 4th. This legislation was signed into law by Governor John Kasich (R) on December 19, 2014.
In its 2008 base rate case, Columbia Gas of Ohio received approval for its Infrastructure Replacement Program (IRP) tracker. The IRP was authorized for an initial five year period, and no rate case is required. The approved 25-year plan called for $2.7 billion to replace approximately 4,100 miles of bare steel, cast and wrought iron and copper pipelines.
In 2011, in Case No. 11-55-15-ALT, the Commission approved a stipulation that Columbia may continue its Rider IRP mechanism to reflect IRP investments made through December 31, 2017. However, should Columbia file a base rate case with new rates effective before December 31, 2017, as part of any such rate case, interested parties may challenge any aspect of the IRP and the Commission may, as a result of such challenge, or on its own initiative, revise Columbia's IRP prior to December 31,2017.
This stipulation also expanded the scope of the AMRP component of Columbia's IRP to expressly include first generation plastic pipe or Aldyl-A plastic pipe when such pipe is associated with priority pipe in replacement projects. For each calendar year of the IRP, the footage of such first generation plastic pipe and Aldyl-A plastic pipe that may be included in Rider IRP may not exceed five percent of the total AMRP program footage for that same calendar year.
In its 2008 rate case, Dominion East Ohio received initial approval for its Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement (PIR) tracker program. In 2011, the utility filed a motion to modify the program due to an increase in the identified scope and in response to recent national concern about pipeline safety, which PUCO approved in August 2011.
Duke Energy has had an accelerated main replacement tracker in place since 2000. All customers, except interruptible transportation customers, are assessed a monthly charge in addition to the customer charge component of their applicable rate schedule.
In 2009, the Commission approved the establishment of a tracking mechanism for Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio that allows the recovery of costs associated with an accelerated bare steel and cast iron pipeline replacement program.
In 2011 Dominion East Ohio (DEO) received Commission approval to further accelerate its replacement activities. PUCO authorized a modified program for another 5 years or until DEO’s next rate case. This approval raised the annual adjustment cap on the company’s rider mechanism.
On February 9, 2015 Dominion East Ohio filed a notice of intent for approval of an alternative rate plan which would extend and increase its investment in pipeline replacement (Docket No. 15-0362-GA-ALT). On September 15, 2016, The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) authorized the continuance of Dominion’s pipeline infrastructure replacement program through 2021. PUCO also approved an increase in the yearly spending for the replacement program from $160 million to $180 million in 2017, $200 million in 2018, and a 3% increase per year thereafter.
Dominion East Ohio owns and operates multiple non-public CNG stations for use by its NGV fleet. The company provides natural gas transportation service to multiple customers that operate their own CNG stations for fleet and, in some cases, public use.
WEC Energy Corp. subsidiary Trillium CNG owns and operates stations in Toledo, Elyria, Belmont, Sharonville, Orville, Cincinnati, Dayton and Kenton.
Ohio's gas distribution companies all operate under straight-fixed-variable (SFV) rate designs.
Dominion East Ohio’s residential customers have full SFV rates. Nonresidential customers on Dominion’s General Sales Service – Nonresidential and Energy Choice Transportation Service – Nonresidential rates schedules (less than 3,000 Mcf per year) have a larger flat monthly rate plus small tiered volumetric rates in order to recognize the difference in usage between such customers.
Dominion’s large volume customers and large commercial/industrial customers on transportation service rate schedules do not have SFV rates.