PUCO Moves Fast to Grant FirstEnergy Bailout Rehearing


The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) granted FirstEnergy’s request for a rehearing of its subsidy request (derailed by a ruling of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)).  The PUCO acted before its deadline for parties to file opposition to a rehearing. The new FirstEnergy proposal would require ratepayers to pay a rider directly to the distribution utility, rather than to the generation affiliate, in an attempt to sidestep FERC oversight.  The rider, if approved, is estimated to cost customers $4 billion over eight years. FirstEnergy had argued that the previous plan was necessary to keep two plants operating to assure adequate electricity supply.  Under the new plan, the two plants receive no revenue. The OMA Energy Group will oppose the new plan of FirstEnergy before the PUCO, and, if necessary, at FERC.