AG Yost Seeks to Block HB 6 Decoupling Charges

Consistent with the OMA’s objections raised in 2019 and 2020, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost this week took legal action to freeze another key provision of House Bill 6. Gongwer News Service (subscription) reports that Yost asked a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge to block HB 6’s decoupling mechanism, calling it “perverse” and “designed to allow FirstEnergy to overcharge its customers.”

The decoupling provision was one of many reasons the OMA opposed HB 6 during its consideration in 2019. The law’s language assures FirstEnergy utilities will be made whole to revenue levels of 2018 — a peak year for the utility. “This guarantees FirstEnergy will receive its high-water-mark profits regardless of service levels, providing no accountability,” Yost said.

In its comments supporting Yost’s actions this week, the Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel said that “two million consumers will be paying FirstEnergy about $310,722 per day in 2021, compared to about $51,259 per day in 2020. In other words, every day the legislature delays repealing HB 6, FirstEnergy gets another $310,722 from consumers. What a deal!” 1/13/2021

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