Energy / FirstEnergy

Ohio electric utility rates challenged, have cost customers billions of dollars in hidden charges

CLEVELAND — “Nine years after passage of a state law that aimed to drive down customer electric bills and usher in an era of energy efficiency and green energy, a lone state lawmaker is trying to stop what has become a state-approved escalator of rising power bills.

State Rep. Mark Romanchuk, a Republican from Ontario, near Mansfield, on Wednesday introduced legislation that could turn the electric utility industry in Ohio on its head.

The bill has the backing of a coalition of customer groups, including the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, AARP Ohio, the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.

… Romanchuk would require the traditional utilities, such as FirstEnergy, to base customer power prices solely on wholesale power prices.  This “Market Rate Option” was created along side the ESP in SB 221. FirstEnergy tried it once, in 2008, but the PUCO rejected it as not meeting the letter of the law. The company then filed an ESP, which the PUCO re-wrote to slash proposed rate increases.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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