Archbold, OH

Electric Deregulation, Is It Working?

In the late 1980s, deregulation of Ohio electric utilities seemed like such a good idea. There would be a marketplace for electrical generation. Homeowners could choose their electric supplier. Competition would keep prices low.

There was a long phase-in period as the state converted from regulated monopolies to the new electric marketplace.

The end of the phase-in period is rapidly approaching, and a competitive electricity market didn’t materialize. Predictions are at the end of 2008, electric rates will rise, and rise drastically.

Last week, Bruce Goodwin, our state representative, told an Archbold audience there is only one electric company- our supplier, First Energy- who wants to follow through on deregulation. Could it be because they’re anticipating a cash bonanza in the future?

Goodwin said legislators in Columbus are talking about the issue, as they should. Their elected predecessors bought into the idea, now it’s up to them to fix it.

Bigger electric bills certainly won’t help Ohio’s struggling economy.

Not only should our legislators re-regulate the electricity industry, they must also find creative ways to encourage development of alternative energy.

Bowling Green has had good luck with their huge wind turbines- a field of them around Archbold couldn’t hurt.

Let’s never give up. Archbold is known for its superb, intelligent leadership. Close study of this issue would be good for citizens.

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