Energy / FirstEnergy

$43 million in FirstEnergy overcharges can’t be refunded, says top court

CLEVELAND — “Consumers won’t see $5 reductions in monthly FirstEnergy electric bills as state regulators, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and environmental groups had hoped.

The Ohio Supreme Court today ruled that FirstEnergy does not have to refund $43.4 million it collected from customers to pay for the most expensive Renewable Energy Certificates, or credits, it bought between 2009 and 2011.

In a ruling that included two concurring and one dissenting opinion, a majority of the high court said that under state law utilities do not have to make refunds, noting that had the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio included a refund provision in FirstEnergy’s 2009 rate case, it might have used that to order the refund.

The decision came a day after Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston testified before an Ohio House committee urging lawmakers to change the law to allow such refunds when they are later found unreasonable or illegal.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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