PUCO OKs Dominion, Columbia settlements

Residential customers of Dominion East Ohio Gas and Columbia Gas of Ohio will continue to have the option of a “standard offer” to purchase their natural gas through their respective utilities for at least the next few years.

The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel said it helped retain consumer choice in separate settlements with both Dominion and Columbia that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved Wednesday.

OCC’s approach to the cases has been that there is no need to fix something that isn’t broken.

“The standard offer has given consumers a great option that can save them lots of money on their natural gas bills,” Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston said. “Our settlements with the utilities will preserve this consumer benefit for at least the next few years. After that, the standard offer would continue for consumers unless others can convince the PUCO to end it.”

Without these settlements, Dominion and Columbia could have proposed an elimination of their standard offer for residential customers at any time.