Did Utility Customers Foot the Bill for Passage of HB 6?

This week, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) — the statewide advocate for residential utility customers — filed a motion to compel the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to conduct a management audit of Akron-based FirstEnergy.

The OCC wants to find out if FirstEnergy or its affiliated companies used money collected from consumers to help pass and defend House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout law. As reported in this Cincinnati Enquirer article, the consumers’ counsel wants the PUCO to appoint an independent auditor “to probe whether millions collected from a fee on FirstEnergy customers’ bills, called a distribution modernization rider, was used improperly.”

The PUCO, which has been mum about the activities of the regulated utility, has until Sept. 23 to make a decision on the OCC’s motion. 9/10/2020