I have examined some financial data for the parent companies of Ohio’s ‘Big Four’ electric utilities (a).
2013 vs. 2012 In 2013 combined profits of the four companies increased by 61 percent. Of the four, only FE had lowered earnings. Combined dividend payments to shareholders of the four companies increased by $ 215 million (b).
Stock Performance Since Ohio’s green energy law (127-SB221) took effect FE stock price has declined about 1/3. Stocks of the other companies have increased by fifty percent or more.
Consumer Electric Bills Monthly residential electric bills were higher in 2013 than in 2012 by an average of $2.25 (c), leading to an added cost to consumers of $122 million last year (d). Monthly costs to consumers are now $18 higher than they were at the end of 2008, just before 127-SB221 took effect (c). Each household is now paying $216 more annually for electricity than it was before 127-SB221 took effect. Only a small fraction of this is a result of 127-SB221 (e).
(a) AEP, AES, Duke (Stock symbol DUK), and First Energy (Stock symbol FE)
(b) Data from http://finance.yahoo.com/. Click on a stock symbol in the box on upper left. A stock performance chart will appear. Click on ‘Income Statement’ and ‘Cash Flow’ to obtain the numbers cited in the text.
(c) Residential rates are reported in Electric Power Monthly. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/ Annual rates for the previous year are given in Table 5.6.B of the February issue.
(d) The average Ohio home uses about 900 kWh of electricity per month according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3. Ohio has 4.5 million households according to the Census Bureau http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/39000.html
(e) Alan R. Rosenfield, Testimony on SB 310 before the House Public Utilities Committee, May 14, 2014