Utilities are more or less under the the thumb of State of Ohio Government via the Public Utilities Commision (PUCO).
Enter the politics!!!!
By the PUCO's own admissions, they are very very powerful (see here):
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) affects just about every household in Ohio. That's because the PUCO regulates providers of all kinds of utility services, including electric and natural gas companies, local and long distance telephone companies, water and wastewater companies, and rail and trucking companies. The PUCO was created to assure Ohioans adequate, safe, and reliable public utility services at a fair price. More recently, the PUCO gained responsibility for facilitating competitive utility choices for Ohio consumers. The PUCO Agency Overview outlines the duties and responsibilities of the PUCO.The key word in the quote from the PUCO's website is REGULATE.
Let's not get into theory of the PUCO...its impact on your life...the effect(s) of BIG GOV'T meddling...YET! A place to start off is with something we can all relate to: your monthly electric bill. We will approach our discussion of how Big Gov't and its regulation of utilities from the ground up.
Let's first get a handle on those electric bills! Took a look below.
Electric Bill Explanation