Groups to Appeal First Energy Rate Hike

(Columbus, OH) Consumer and environmental groups plan to appeal a PUCO decision to the Ohio Supreme Court giving First Energy a big subsidy. 

State utility regulators rejected the claims of multiple groups that a $200-million per year, five-year rate plan for upgrades to its electric grid amounts to a bailout of its coal and nuclear power plants. Opponents contend the northern Ohio electric company and its subsidiaries can use the money any way they wants. 

Ohio lawmakers refused to give First Energy what it called 'clean air credits' earlier this year for essentially the same reason. 

The Ohio Environmental Council and other groups plan to ask the state's high court to block the rate hike, which amounts to an extra three dollars per month for residential electric customers.

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