A look at how affiliate arrangements, subsidies and riders led to higher electric bills in Ohio — even as power prices declined
In a residential neighborhood south of downtown Cleveland, a decorative lamppost provides a stark illustration of what critics say is an abusive system of surcharges that have created billions of dollars in subsidies for the state’s utilities. The 150-watt light in a tiny residential park is the only thing for which the South Hills Neighborhood Association used electricity in July. Yet the electric bill was nearly $70 — only 38 cents of which was for the actual electricity consumed. The bill for that single lamppost is now nearly 750% higher than it was just 11 years ago. In July 2008, the charge for the same light totaled $8.28, with $2.69 going toward electricity.