OPAE is currently in negotiations with the Company on a settlement of its smart grid proposal. DP&L proposes to spend around $800 million on Phase I of a three-part implementation plan. Phase I includes Distribution Automation and wires upgrades; Volt Var Optimization, which stabilizes voltage and saves energy; smart meters; and, new billing and communications systems to pull it all together.
DP&L is making a big push for prepaid meters, which provide a second-class electricity service, requiring customers to give up all their consumer protections, HEAP, PIPP, and other bill payment assistance. Most utilities that have implemented prepay programs have steered low-income customers to the plans. In one utility that actually released the data, the average prepay customer was shut-off eight times a month. Deprivation is not conservation. Prepay violates Ohio law. We’re working to uphold the law.
DP&L is also waffling on filing a new voluntary DSM portfolio. Expect an interruption in program funding unless we can convince the Commission to let us rollover funds into next year as discussed in our AEP Ohio article.