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Ohio utilities continue to protect themselves from retail providers

Only months after American Electric Power's long battle with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, another municipal utility is asking the state's energy regulator to approve a charge that would protect from the growing competition from more retail energy providers.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Dayton Power & Light, which serves customers throughout  Madison, Pickaway and Union counties, is asking to charge $120 million per year for the coming five years for a "service stability rider," which would help the utility make the transition into a competition-based market.

The application, filed with PUCO on Friday, October 6, stated that DP&L's "financial integrity will be threatened without such a charge." If approved, the charge would result in a $5-per-household increase in electricity rates, however the filing noted that other parts of the electricity bill would actually decrease.

DP&L is following in the footsteps of AEP, which requested a similar $500 million "retail stability rider" in August that would help the utility bounce back from losses related to customers switching to retail energy providers to find the best electricity rates.

According to Crain's Cleveland Business, AEP's request was met with heavy resistance from retail providers like FirstEnergy, which claimed AEP was trying to hold onto its monopoly.