FirstEnergy Reverses – Will Refund Controversial Decoupling Charges

FirstEnergy announced it will return $26M in decoupling charges collected from customers under the 2019 HB 6 law. The company voluntarily halted collections earlier this year under a settlement with Attorney General Dave Yost. The OMA Energy Group has been an active voice in legal proceedings, partnering with the Attorney General and Office of Consumers’ Counsel, consistently advocating for refund of decoupling dollars.

FirstEnergy originally indicated it would not refund the $30M it collected under the authority of HB 6. Noting that the company is not refunding all ill-gotten gains, Ohio’s Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston said that Ohio should not allow FirstEnergy to walk away from HB 6 with even a penny of consumers’ money.

With this week’s passage of HB 128, which removed the HB 6 decoupling provision from law, FirstEnergy apparently reconsidered its position. The decoupling provision would have guaranteed FirstEnergy’s annual revenue at its 2018 record-setting level regardless of energy sold. 3/31/2021