Consumers Counsel Hailing Supreme Court Decision

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The Ohio Consumers Counsel had claimed it was denied the right to intervene in the PUCO's approval of rate payment deferral requests by energy companies. The deferrals amount to a rate increase to be imposed after caps implemented during a competitive market development period expire. Spokeswoman Maureen Miller says the Supreme Court's ruling confirms a status that the the Ohio Consumer Counsel has been pressing for.

Maureen Miller: That the Consumer's Counsel should be able to be become a formal party in the case and officially represent residential utility customers. It also preserves our ability to appeal any decisions that the PUCO might make at the Supreme Court.

The court's decision, however, upholds the accounting deferrals. The justices deemed the extra charges "special ones" incurred under federally approved regulations. The OCC had argued that the PUCO improperly allowed the power companies to collect retroactive fees.

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