(A) For the purpose of complying with section 4928.141 of the Revised Code and subject to division (D) of this section and, as applicable, subject to the rate plan requirement of division (A) of section 4928.141 of the Revised Code, an electric distribution utility may establish a standard service offer price for retail electric generation service that is delivered to the utility under a market-rate offer.
(1) The market-rate offer shall be determined through a competitive bidding process that provides for all of the following:
(a) Open, fair, and transparent competitive solicitation;
(b) Clear product definition;
(c) Standardized bid evaluation criteria;
(d) Oversight by an independent third party that shall design the solicitation, administer the bidding, and ensure that the criteria specified in division (A)(1)(a) to (c) of this section are met;
(e) Evaluation of the submitted bids prior to the selection of the least-cost bid winner or winners. No generation supplier shall be prohibited from participating in the bidding process.
(2) The public utilities commission shall modify rules, or adopt new rules as necessary, concerning the conduct of the competitive bidding process and the qualifications of bidders, which rules shall foster supplier participation in the bidding process and shall be consistent with the requirements of division (A)(1) of this section.
(B) Prior to initiating a competitive bidding process for a market-rate offer under division (A) of this section, the electric distribution utility shall file an application with the commission. An electric distribution utility may file its application with the commission prior to the effective date of the commission rules required under division (A)(2) of this section, and, as the commission determines necessary, the utility shall immediately conform its filing to the rules upon their taking effect. An application under this division shall detail the electric distribution utility's proposed compliance with the requirements of division (A)(1) of this section and with commission rules under division (A)(2) of this section and demonstrate that all of the following requirements are met:
(1) The electric distribution utility or its transmission service affiliate belongs to at least one regional transmission organization that has been approved by the federal energy regulatory commission; or there otherwise is comparable and nondiscriminatory access to the electric transmission grid.
(2) Any such regional transmission organization has a market-monitor function and the ability to take actions to identify and mitigate market power or the electric distribution utility's market conduct; or a similar market monitoring function exists with commensurate ability to identify and monitor market conditions and mitigate conduct associated with the exercise of market power.
(3) A published source of information is available publicly or through subscription that identifies pricing information for traded electricity on- and off-peak energy products that are contracts for delivery beginning at least two years from the date of the publication and is updated on a regular basis. The commission shall initiate a proceeding and, within ninety days after the application's filing date, shall determine by order whether the electric distribution utility and its market-rate offer meet all of the foregoing requirements. If the finding is positive, the electric distribution utility may initiate its competitive bidding process. If the finding is negative as to one or more requirements, the commission in the order shall direct the electric distribution utility regarding how any deficiency may be remedied in a timely manner to the commission's satisfaction; otherwise, the electric distribution utility shall withdraw the application. However, if such remedy is made and the subsequent finding is positive and also if the electric distribution utility made a simultaneous filing under this section and section 4928.143 of the Revised Code, the utility shall not initiate its competitive bid until at least one hundred fifty days after the filing date of those applications.
(C) Upon the completion of the competitive bidding process authorized by divisions (A) and (B) of this section, including for the purpose of division (D) of this section, the commission shall select the least-cost bid winner or winners of that process, and such selected bid or bids, as prescribed as retail rates by the commission, shall be the electric distribution utility's standard service offer unless the commission, by order issued before the third calendar day following the conclusion of the competitive bidding process for the market rate offer, determines that one or more of the following criteria were not met:
(1) Each portion of the bidding process was oversubscribed, such that the amount of supply bid upon was greater than the amount of the load bid out.
(2) There were four or more bidders.
(3) At least twenty-five per cent of the load is bid upon by one or more persons other than the electric distribution utility. All costs incurred by the electric distribution utility as a result of or related to the competitive bidding process or to procuring generation service to provide the standard service offer, including the costs of energy and capacity and the costs of all other products and services procured as a result of the competitive bidding process, shall be timely recovered through the standard service offer price, and, for that purpose, the commission shall approve a reconciliation mechanism, other recovery mechanism, or a combination of such mechanisms for the utility.
(D) The first application filed under this section by an electric distribution utility that, as of July 31, 2008, directly owns, in whole or in part, operating electric generating facilities that had been used and useful in this state shall require that a portion of that utility's standard service offer load for the first five years of the market rate offer be competitively bid under division (A) of this section as follows: ten per cent of the load in year one, not more than twenty per cent in year two, thirty per cent in year three, forty per cent in year four, and fifty per cent in year five. Consistent with those percentages, the commission shall determine the actual percentages for each year of years one through five. The standard service offer price for retail electric generation service under this first application shall be a proportionate blend of the bid price and the generation service price for the remaining standard service offer load, which latter price shall be equal to the electric distribution utility's most recent standard service offer price, adjusted upward or downward as the commission determines reasonable, relative to the jurisdictional portion of any known and measurable changes from the level of any one or more of the following costs as reflected in that most recent standard service offer price:
(1) The electric distribution utility's prudently incurred cost of fuel used to produce electricity;
(2) Its prudently incurred purchased power costs;
(3) Its prudently incurred costs of satisfying the supply and demand portfolio requirements of this state, including, but not limited to, renewable energy resource and energy efficiency requirements;
(4) Its costs prudently incurred to comply with environmental laws and regulations, with consideration of the derating of any facility associated with those costs. In making any adjustment to the most recent standard service offer price on the basis of costs described in division (D) of this section, the commission shall include the benefits that may become available to the electric distribution utility as a result of or in connection with the costs included in the adjustment, including, but not limited to, the utility's receipt of emissions credits or its receipt of tax benefits or of other benefits, and, accordingly, the commission may impose such conditions on the adjustment to ensure that any such benefits are properly aligned with the associated cost responsibility. The commission shall also determine how such adjustments will affect the electric distribution utility's return on common equity that may be achieved by those adjustments. The commission shall not apply its consideration of the return on common equity to reduce any adjustments authorized under this division unless the adjustments will cause the electric distribution utility to earn a return on common equity that is significantly in excess of the return on common equity that is earned by publicly traded companies, including utilities, that face comparable business and financial risk, with such adjustments for capital structure as may be appropriate. The burden of proof for demonstrating that significantly excessive earnings will not occur shall be on the electric distribution utility. Additionally, the commission may adjust the electric distribution utility's most recent standard service offer price by such just and reasonable amount that the commission determines necessary to address any emergency that threatens the utility's financial integrity or to ensure that the resulting revenue available to the utility for providing the standard service offer is not so inadequate as to result, directly or indirectly, in a taking of property without compensation pursuant to Section 19 of Article I, Ohio Constitution. The electric distribution utility has the burden of demonstrating that any adjustment to its most recent standard service offer price is proper in accordance with this division.
(E) Beginning in the second year of a blended price under division (D) of this section and notwithstanding any other requirement of this section, the commission may alter prospectively the proportions specified in that division to mitigate any effect of an abrupt or significant change in the electric distribution utility's standard service offer price that would otherwise result in general or with respect to any rate group or rate schedule but for such alteration. Any such alteration shall be made not more often than annually, and the commission shall not, by altering those proportions and in any event, including because of the length of time, as authorized under division (C) of this section, taken to approve the market rate offer, cause the duration of the blending period to exceed ten years as counted from the effective date of the approved market rate offer. Additionally, any such alteration shall be limited to an alteration affecting the prospective proportions used during the blending period and shall not affect any blending proportion previously approved and applied by the commission under this division.
(F) An electric distribution utility that has received commission approval of its first application under division (C) of this section shall not, nor ever shall be authorized or required by the commission to, file an application under section 4928.143 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 2008 SB221 07-31-2008; 2008 HB562 09-22-2008