FirstEnergy / Utilities

Consumers’ office says FirstEnergy amendment will lead to ‘price gouging’

 

“The office charged with defending Ohio consumers in utility matters says a House-added budget provision would subject 1.1 million FirstEnergy customers to ‘price gouging.’

Among the many amendments added to the two-year budget bill is one changing the calculation of ‘significantly excessive earnings’ for Akron-based FirstEnergy. This would change how the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio determines if utilities have earned excessive profits that require a refund of millions of dollars to energy customers.

Under the provision, FirstEnergy’s Ohio Edison profits would be averaged with the lower profit margins of its Toledo Edison and Cleveland Electric Illuminating companies.

‘This change would artificially dilute Ohio Edison’s high profits, on paper, for calculating whether it is improperly charging customers for significantly excessive monopoly profits,’ said Jeff Jacobson, who testified Tuesday before the House Finance Committee on behalf of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. ‘Instead of the intended consumer protection under the 2008 law, the bill would protect FirstEnergy from refunding significantly excessive monopoly profits to a million Ohio Edison consumers.’”

— Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch 

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