- The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (“OCC”) testified 18 times before the Ohio General Assembly, seven of those times were with regard to House Bill 6 involving power plant subsidies. OCC’s advocacy included testifying jointly with low-income groups in support of legislation to protect consumers from submetering (reselling) of utility services (Senate Bill 86).
- OCC’s legal and analytical staff participated in more than 100 cases before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Bankruptcy Court and the Ohio Supreme Court, on behalf of Ohio residential utility consumers.
- In an appeal brought by OCC and others, the Ohio Supreme Court declared FirstEnergy’s Distribution Modernization Rider to be unlawful, after consumers paid $456 million. Following the Court’s decision, the PUCO ordered DP&L to stop collecting a similar charge from customers after consumers paid $219 million.
- OCC and others successfully sought consumer protection from AEP’s attempt to make monopoly customers pay more than $100 million to subsidize solar power plants, contrary to Ohio’s 1999 power plant deregulation law.
- OCC continued to advocate for delivering to Ohio consumers the federal tax savings that utilities received from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In 2019, federal tax savings were provided to consumers of DP&L, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy and Aqua Ohio.
- OCC and other parties appealed to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a Bankruptcy Court decision that failed to consider the public interest when ruling on the bankruptcy of FirstEnergy Solutions. The Court of Appeals ruled that the public interest should have been considered by the Bankruptcy Court before it relieved FirstEnergy Solutions of its obligation to pay for two coal plants (potentially leaving millions of Ohio customers with the bill).
- OCC’s Outreach & Education team made 558 educational and informational appearances in the state, including attendance at the Ohio State Fair, 32 county fairs, and the Farm Science Review, for sharing information with residential utility consumers.
- Outreach & Education team members partnered with state agencies and local governments throughout the year. The team participated in events during National Consumer Protection Week and at other special events, including those hosted by the Ohio Attorney General, Better Business Bureau of Cincinnati, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Ohio Means Jobs of Lawrence County, and Cleveland City Council, among others.