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Better regulation could lower electricity prices for Ohio

Several states have taken major strides toward total electricity deregulation, opening up their markets to healthy competition, but states like Ohio have instead struggled on attempting to maintain two contradictory systems at the same time, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Much of Ohio has the option to compare electricity rates, but there are some regions of the state that are entirely limited to their traditional utility company, particularly in the service areas of major utilities like American Electric Power Ohio.

"The state needs to avoid policies that favor one competitor over another, especially policies that favor the established utility brand names over any new entrants," Columbus-based economist Ken Rose, told the Dispatch.

Other problems such as limited funding to the state's consumer protection bureau and systems that can unfairly impose electricity rate increases on residents should also be addressed, according to the news source.

Ohio has seen a substantial movement toward alternate electricity suppliers in recent years, according to the Public Utility Commission of Ohio, as some utilities have more than 80 percent of customers choosing to switch providers. However, others are much less competitive, with Ohio Power Company having only 4.05 percent of customers taking advantage of alternate electricity providers, in large part because of the structure of the system.