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Economy and Business


Southern Ohio electric company offers discounts for Northeast Ohio all-electric homeowners
FirstEnergy has been giving electric customers discounts for decades, but Duke Energy is going to bring some competition to Northeast Ohio
Story by LAURA FONG


 

Duke Energy is wooing Northeast Ohio customers who live in all-electric homes.

FirstEnergy has been giving those customers steep discounts for more than three decades, and the homeowners say they were promised the discounts would continue forever. But the Akron-based utility won a case before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last spring, and the discounts are being phased out through 2018.

Duke Energy of Ohio serves primarily southwest Ohio, but electric deregulation is supposed to invite more competition. And on Tuesday, a sister company,  Duke Energy Retail, announced its own discount program, with an estimated average savings per home of anywhere from 40 to 200 dollars

PUCO spokesman Matt Butler says having a new supplier can be good for First Energy’s all-electric customers – though it also can be confusing.

Butler says AEP and Duke will be affiliates.

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“Certainly the hope behind it is that people can find a cheaper rate for their electricity," he says. "While it’s confusing to a lot of folks because they share very similar names in most cases…AEP is not going into Duke’s territory, First Energy is not going into AEP’s, it’s their affiliate company.”

Duke Energy Retail spokesman Steve Brash says Duke’s discount is good until October 2013, and is open to the first ten thousand customers who switch. 

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