(Columbus, OH) The Ohio Supreme Court hears a case today that could force First Energy to refund more than 43-million dollars to northern Ohio electric ratepayers.
First Energy is challenging a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio order to refund $43.4 million for overcharging electric customers for renewable energy credits. A PUCO audit found the utility overpaid for solar power energy credits-- and, in turn, passed on those costs unfairly to its rate-payers over a four-year period.
The state's utility watchdog ordered First Energy to reduce monthly bills to return those collected funds to consumers. But lawyers for the utility argue that's the equivalent of retroactive rate-making-- and past Supreme Court cases have prohibited the refunded of money already collected by power companies.
The complicated case could determine whether customers from Toledo Edison, Ohio Edison, and the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company get a price break on future monthly bills.