- The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has ordered FirstEnergy Corp. to give $43.3 million in credit back to its customers after its own subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions overcharged the utility for renewable energy credits used to buy energy in Ohio's alternative energy market from 2009 to 2011. The costs of the renewable energy credits were then passed on to consumers.
- FirstEnergy says it plans to appeal the decision, with spokesman Doug Colafella arguing, "The ruling does not change the fact that purchasing the renewable energy credits was the only option available to us under Ohio's clean energy law. The decision suggests we should have ignored Ohio law and it penalizes us for following the law."
- Exeter Associates' audit of the situation, part of which has been sealed by PUCO, found FirstEnergy paid 15 times more than any other U.S. company for the renewable energy credits. The National Resources Defense Council's analysis estimated the overcharges at $96 million to $126 million.
From the article:
Marty Berkowitz, a spokesman for the Office of Consumers' Counsel, which represents Ohio ratepayers, said the office is barred from saying how much in overcharges it asked that FirstEnergy recoup for its 2 million customers.
"We are not allowed to reveal how much we asked for FirstEnergy to credit back to customers because FirstEnergy succeeded in its efforts to have the records sealed as secret," he said. "Needless to say, we recommended that FirstEnergy be required to credit back much more of its charges to customers than what was ordered in today's decision."