COLUMBUS — Submetering companies want to continue to be able to add extra fees and charge more on utility bills, while trying to avoid regulations by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
Tens of thousands of central Ohioans renting apartments or living in condos are forced to pay for utilities through a middle man. Those middle men are submetering companies and ABC 6 On Your Side uncovered how they can tack on extra fees and charge higher prices.
The PUCO ruled it could regulate submetering companies if the bills are higher than what host utilities, like American Electric Power charge.
New case filings from two submetering companies are urging the PUCO to not count some of the extra charges in the bill.
Nationwide Energy Partners, a submetering company, argues many fees are added on by landlords or property owners.
American Power and Light said specific charges like common electric in apartment complexes and other billing or meter-reading fees should not be factored in.
Both submetering companies maintain if the extra charges are taken out of the equation, costs should be the same as regulated utilities.
Advocacy groups like the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel argue submetering customers have less protections and lower customer service quality.
The PUCO will review the testimony and decide what markup, if any, would be allowed.