Three Ohio Utilities To Charge Customers More To Connect New Power Lines

November 8, 2002

State regulators have given three Ohio electric utilities the green light to charge new homeowners up to $375 for connection fees.

By December 1, American Electric Power, FirstEnergy and Monongahela Power Company will be able to charge new homeowners up to $375 for connecting new homes to the power grids. Additionally, the companies can charge those consumers a monthly surcharge for the service. People moving into newly-built apartments will also pay a monthly charge.

Alan Schriber, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, says the charge is an “unintended consequence” of electric deregulation in Ohio. Schriber says the charge is based on the cost of building a new house and nothing to do with the cost of energy.

Before Ohio’s electric market was deregulated, utility companies paid for the cost of extending electricity service to new buildings.

Robert Tongren, Ohio’s Consumers’ Counsel, says the charge effectively wipes out the 5 percent savings promised on electric bills.

Here is a breakdown from PUCO of what the companies will charge:

Residential Customers

American Electric Power
Customers living in new single-family residences, not located in housing developments, served by the local facilities, will pay the utilities a one-time fee of $375 and a monthly line extension surcharge of $8.00. For local facilities exceeding $5,000, an additional monthly line extension surcharge equal to 1.58 percent times the portion of the cost in excess of $5,000 must be paid.

Monongahela Power Company
Customers living in new single-family residences, not located in housing developments, served by the local facilities, will pay the utilities a one-time fee of $350 and a monthly line extension surcharge of $8.00. For local facilities exceeding $3,000, an additional monthly line extension surcharge equal to 1.6 percent times the portion of the cost in excess of $3,000 must be paid.

FirstEnergy
Customers living in new single-family residences, not located in housing developments, served by the local facilities, will pay the utility a one-time fee of $300 and a monthly line extension surcharge of $8.00.

New single-family and multi-family residential developments

American Electric Power
Single-family housing developers/builders will make a one-time flat fee payment of $375 for each single-family lot in a development. Customers served by the local facilities in a single-family residential development will pay the utility $8.00 per month as a line extension surcharge.
Multi-family housing developers/builders, who develop units that are individually metered, will make a one-time payment of $100 for each unit and pay 100 percent of the cost for premium services (services that are not in the normal course of providing electric service). Customers served by the local facilities in a multi-family residential development will pay the utility a $4.00 per month surcharge.

Monongahela Power Company
Single-family housing developers/builders will make a one-time flat fee payment of $350 for each single-family lot in a development. Customers served by the local facilities in a single-family residential development will pay the utility $8.00 per month as a line extension surcharge.
Multi-family housing developers/builders, who develop units that are individually metered, will make a one-time payment of $100 for each unit. Customers served by the local facilities in a multi-family residential development will pay the utility a $4.00 per month surcharge.

FirstEnergy
Single-family housing developers/builders will make a one-time flat fee payment of $300 for each single-family lot in a development. Customers served by the local facilities in a single-family residential development will pay the utility $8.00 per month as a line extension surcharge.
Multi-family housing developers/builders, who develop units that are individually metered, will make a one-time payment of $100 for each unit. Customers served by the local facilities in a multi-family residential development will pay the utility a $4.00 per month surcharge.

Nonresidential Customers

American Electric Power
Large general service customers requesting the line extension will pay 35 percent of the estimated cost for the basic service plan. Additional premium services will require 100 percent payment by the party requesting the extension. The developer is responsible for the primary voltage electrical facilities. The customers served by the local facilities will pay the utility a monthly surcharge equal to 0.47 percent times the cost of the line extension.
Small general service customers requesting the extension will pay 25 percent of the estimated cost. Customers served by those facilities will pay a monthly surcharge of $8.45.

Monongahela Power Company
Small general service customers requesting the extension will pay 25 percent of the estimated cost of the basic service plan. Additional premium services will require 100 percent payment by the party requesting the extension. The customers served by the local facilities will pay the utility a monthly surcharge equal to 0.40 percent times the cost of the line extension.
Large general service customers requesting the extension will pay, prior to the utility extending the line, 35 percent of the estimated cost. Additional premium services will require 100 percent payment by the party requesting the extension. The customers served by the local facilities will pay the utility a monthly surcharge equal to 0.48 percent times the cost of the line extension.

FirstEnergy
Commercial and industrial customers requesting the extension will pay an up-front payment of 40 percent of FE's costs to build the line extension. The customer taking service from the extension will pay a monthly surcharge of 0.5 percent of the cost of the line extension.

© Associated Press and Dispatch Productions, Inc., 2002. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

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