The restructuring of the Ohio electricity market is allowing customers who reside in the Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) service area to significantly lower their electric bills. The Ohio electricity choice law allows customers to replace the rate for power supply on their DP&L electric bill for a price offered by a competitive electricity company. Competitive prices that are below the DP&L default supply rate can yield the difference as savings for consumers.
Dayton Power & Light delivers power to over 515,000 customers in the Ohio Miami Valley. The company earns money by charging distribution charges to their customers for delivering power through the regulated transmissions lines. The distribution charges are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Even though DP&L customers can choose who supplies their power, they are still forced to receive the power from DP&L; the delivery component of the power market remains regulated. Dayton Power & Light also continues to send out the monthly electric bill to their customers. When a customer chooses a lower competitive electricity supplier, the supplier’s new rate replaces the DP&L default price for power supply.
Finding the lowest DP&L electricity price can help Ohio consumers keep their monthly expenses in check. Several rate options exist below from licensed electricity suppliers who are offering prices below the DP&L default rate. While the current savings are substantial, customers who lock in a long term fixed rate plan may end up saving even more if the DP&L default rate increases. One of the biggest concerns customers have about being on the default rate is not knowing what the price will be in six months. The ability to lock in a fixed rate and hedge against future price increases in seen by some as even more important than the initial savings opportunities that exist.
Low competitive rates and a high DP&L default rate have enticed customers to learn about Ohio electricity choice and switch suppliers. By the end of 2015 over 46% of DP&L residential customers were purchasing their power from a competitive supplier. The switch percentage was only 18% in June of 2012. Overall Ohio electricity choice has been a success as the percentage of customers who shop is far superior to other similar sized energy choice states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. However, with competitive rates coming in 20-30% off of the DP&L default rate, there still exists more than half of the residential customer pool severely overpaying for their electricity. Most of these customers have not shopped for lower DP&L electricity prices either because they are unaware of their option to do so, or because they are uneducated and frightened about the negative effects. Those customers who have shopped understand that there is nothing that should hold back a customer on default service from shopping for lower rates.