Ohio’s nuclear bailout law (House Bill 6) contains a poorly understood regulatory construct called the “decoupling mechanism.” The provision has been implemented and may allow FirstEnergy to collect $355 million through 2024 — and hundreds of millions more in later years — from Ohio’s electric ratepayers, including manufacturers. Read this memo by OMA’s energy consultant RunnerStone for more on this issue. (A key reason the OMA opposed HB 6 was the blank check that the decoupling provision imposes on customers.)
In addition, the House Finance Committee last year inserted language into the state budget (House Bill 166) to alter Ohio’s prohibition of excessive profits by regulated utilities. The provision, which would allow FirstEnergy to keep “significantly excessive” profits rather than issue refunds to customers, is set to take effect next year. Read this memo from OMA energy counsel Kim Bojko of Carpenter Lipps & Leland for more information.