FIRSTENERGY WANTS THE PUCO TO INCREASE YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
You Have the Right to Make Your Voice Heard at the PUCO!
See below for ways you can let the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) know your concerns about FirstEnergy’s newest proposal to increase your electric bill. The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC), the state’s advocate for residential utility consumers, opposes the increase.
FirstEnergy is asking for a $1.4 billion rate hike through a so-called Electric Security Plan (ESP). Bills would rise beginning June 2024, through the spring of 2032. Since about 2008, Electric Security Plans have been used by electric utilities as a tool to get more rate increases in between traditional rate cases. The Plans have provided more “security” for utilities than consumers. OCC supports Ohio Senate Bill 143 to ban ESPs.
OCC has explained why FirstEnergy is asking for too much at the PUCO: too high a profit level, too many expensive riders and excessive energy efficiency program charges. FirstEnergy’s proposal needs more transparency and better consumer protections.
Now is not the time for another rate hike! Ohioans are already facing financial difficulties with higher energy prices and inflation. You, too, can get involved and make your voice heard at the PUCO!
Three Ways to Exercise Your Right to Be Heard at the PUCO
In-Person: Hearings were held in September, but you can still comment online or by mail.
Online: Click on “File a Public Comment” at https://bit.ly/fe-esp-23
By Mail: Send a letter referencing FirstEnergy and PUCO Case 23-301 to:
Commission of Ohio
180 E. Broad St., 11th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Virtual Public Hearing Requested
The in-person hearings are complete, but OCC and other advocates have requested that the PUCO hold a Virtual Public Hearing on this rate increase proposal. Jobs, health challenges, mobility issues, disabilities, childcare, eldercare, transportation limitations and other concerns make it difficult for Ohioans to attend an in-person hearing. FirstEnergy consumers deserve the opportunity to be heard live by a PUCO commissioner.
OCC’s request for a virtual hearing has been supported by other at-risk consumer advocates including Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Community Legal Aid, Ohio Poverty Law Center and Pro Seniors: https://bit.ly/fe-v-hearing-1
Also see: https://bit.ly/fe-v-hearing-2
Click for OCC tips on how to speak at local public hearings: http://bit.ly/how-to-testify.
Want to Know More?
OCC’s Motion to Intervene on behalf of FirstEnergy consumers is available at this link: https://bit.ly/occ-mti-fe-esp-v.
Here is a link to the PUCO docket with all the filings in the case, including five entries of OCC expert testimony filed on 10/23/23: https://bit.ly/fe-esp-23.
Call or e-mail your advocate, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, at 1-877-742-5622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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