AEP Ohio Agrees to Retailer TOU Program Concurrent with Smart Meter Rollout
Energy Manager Today, April 11, 2016. Image credit: pagaling
AEP Ohio has entered into a Joint Stipulation and Recommendation Agreement under which the utility would complete phase two of its gridSMART deployment program and would allow the billing of Time of Use (TOU) rates by retail suppliers in its service territory. The proposal awaits the final approval of the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) under Case No. 13-139-EL-RDR.
The parties to the agreement include the PUCO staff, Direct Energy, Interstate Gas Supply, the Ohio Hospital Association, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Ohio Environmental Council, and AEP Ohio.
In its filing, the utility said that it had 1.5 million meters installed throughout its service territory and that, of this total, it had thus far converted approximately 132,000 premises to smart meters. Within the next four years, AEP Ohio stated that it planned to install an extra 894,000 advanced meters under the current proposal.
The utility has agreed to work with the PUCO staff and competitive retail electric suppliers to administer a Time of Use Transition Plan. The retailers will develop programs similar to AEP Ohio’s SMART Shift (two-tier TOU), SMART Shift Plus (three-tier TOU plus Critical Peak Pricing), and SMART Cooling (thermostat) programs within six months of the adoption of the stipulation, using the same on-off peak structure.
As part of the transitional period, AEP will provide rate-ready and bill-ready billing for TOU rates offers by retailers that meet the same criteria as the utility’s SMART Shift and SMART Shift Plus. In addition, the utility will support bill-ready invoicing for customers on retailer Smart Cooling programs, where compliance and customer credit calculations will be performed by the retailers. The company will work with the providers offering these programs and engage them in testing through the development period.