CLEVELAND (WJW) – Starting Thursday, electricity prices will significantly rise for people across the state of Ohio.
The price was determined by wholesale market factors months ago and could cause electric bills to go up by double digits.
“It’s a per kilowatt charge so about a 6-cent per kilowatt hour increase. If you use 1,000 kWh hours a month, which is not far from the average residential user, it could be a $60 increase in your bill,” said Matt Schilling, director of Public Affairs for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
An electric bill consists of two parts. The first is the price to deliver electricity to a home or business and paid to the utility company.
The second is the cost of the actual power. That is the portion of the bill that is in some cases doubling.
However, Schilling says customers have options.
There are dozens of PUCO-certified suppliers which can be compared “apples to apples” and selected on the Energy Choice Ohio website.
“I want to remind you, you are signing a contract to service,” said Schilling. “So we strongly encourage consumers to ask a lot of questions and understand as much as they can from the potential supplier.”
Questions to ask are also listed on the website or can be asked of PUCO directly via email at PUCO.Ohio.gov or by calling their customer service hotline at 1-800-686-PUCO.
“So when we talk about this increase, it is in the customer’s control to pick a supplier that best fits their family’s needs,” said Lauren Siburkis, a spokesperson with FirstEnergy Corp.
Utility companies like FirstEnergy and AES Ohio, which serves the Dayton area, have already selected suppliers for their customers who have not opted to select their own.
Effective June 1, the prices to compare for each of FirstEnergy’s Ohio electric companies’ non-shopping residential customers will be:
Ohio Edison: 12.39 cents/kWh
Illuminating Co.: 12.40 cents/kWh
Toledo Edison: 12.41 cents/kWh
“We purchase through a competitive bidding auction electricity. We then pass along to our customers at cost. FirstEnergy does not profit off the sale of electricity to our customers,” said Siburkis. “When we’re looking at it holistically for the entire bill, it’s going to be about a 47% increase.”
They say those getting their power from a government aggregate won’t be impacted the same way.
People can continue to shop for suppliers and change at any time during this next year.
However, it could take one or two billing cycles for the supplier changes and new rates to take effect. Also, if the prices are still too much, they say help is available.
“We have a lot of assistance programs. There are programs that appeal to all income levels to help people stay current with their utility bills,” said Schilling.