November 17, 2006
Consumers’ Counsel featured at recent meeting
~ written by John H. Jones, Government Agencies Committee Chair
Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Janine L. Migden-Ostrander spoke about the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) at the November meeting of the Government Agencies committee. The OCC is the advocate for residential consumers having complaints or questions about their electric, natural gas, telephone and water services.
Migden-Ostrander said that the future of energy in Ohio hinges on whether three goals – affordability, reliability and sustainability - are achieved. She believes that a long-term plan should help stabilize the price of energy, incorporate cost-effective energy programs and be able to alleviate the volatility of natural gas prices. Migden-Ostrander advocates that Ohio’s long-term power plan must include a mix of options including clean coal technologies, renewable energy (wind farms, solar and biomass) and energy efficiency. She said that with the price of fossil fuels such as natural gas continually rising, and the prospect of the United States competing more and more in the global market with countries like China and India, it is imperative that Ohio develop a strategy to diminish its reliance on foreign sources of fuel.
Migden-Ostrander also said that the OCC provides consumers with up-to-date information about their utilities, including changes in rates and services, new opportunities for switching to competitive providers, as well as tips on how to use energy more efficiently and how to protect themselves against scams.