Utility Master Plan Reveals Schemes to Fleece Ohio Customers

Newly obtained documents released in the HB 6 corruption investigation reveal that Ohio utilities produced a wish list of reforms, many of which were included in HB 6, and many that have been the subject of legislative or PUCO proposals since HB 6. The March 19, 2019 email that originated from an AEP executive to FirstEnergy Senior Vice President Mike Dowling, who was indicted under state corruption charges in February, suggests that utilities assembled a master plan to redistribute funds from customers to regulated monopoly utilities.

The AEP email that appears to have been used for a meeting with Larry Householder and FirstEnergy in April 2019 makes numerous suggestions for customer-funded subsidies for new utility-owned generation. The plan also schemes ways and charts out methods to further pillage customers to fund infrastructure beyond traditional ratemaking models. Finally, the plan allows utilities to own and control behind-the-meter technologies and rate base EV charging stations, authorize utilities to operate broadband networks, and pursue formula rates, known as alternative rate mechanisms, a concept contained in Senate Bill 102 (Wilkin) now pending in the Ohio Senate.

The document begs many questions and connects the dots on why all Ohio utilities supported HB 6. The OMA has obtained other related emails that will be included and discussed at the upcoming OMA Energy Committee on May 8. 3/7/2024