HB 6 Decoupling Explained

During this week’s House hearing on legislation to repeal House Bill 6, discussion and questions centered around the nuclear bailout law’s poorly understood “decoupling mechanism.” The provision, which has been implemented, will assure FirstEnergy utilities will be made whole to 2018 revenue levels.

During an investor call earlier this year, FirstEnergy’s CEO bragged that the provision would make the company “somewhat recession proof.” Previous OMA analysis showed how FirstEnergy utilities stand to benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in unearned income.

In response to questions from our members and policymakers, OMA technical consultants at RunnerStone LLC have developed this primer on decoupling and how HB 6 decoupling benefits FirstEnergy by deviating from best practices. The research finds that while there is a legitimate purpose and public policy for decoupling, the HB 6-enabled decoupling mechanism is a horse of a different color — one that provides no offsetting customer benefits. Read the memo to compare a typical decoupling mechanism to the special decoupling mechanism in HB 6. 9/17/2020