Groups Appeal PUCO Rate Hike Decision

(Columbus, OH) Environmental groups and others are challenging a PUCO decision to give First Energy a rate hike. 

The Ohio Manufacturers' Association (OMA) and Sierra Club are among those appealing the PUCO case to the Ohio Supreme Court, claiming First Energy is getting a sweetheart deal known as a distribution modernization rate increase. The industry group claims the above-market charges are costing small business and large industrial customers alike, whether or not they buy power from First Energy. 

State regulators gave the utility an extra $204 million dollars annually over a five-year period, which opponents contend is funneling the money to its coal and nuclear plants to prop up their operations. 

Meantime, there's a new, scaled-back proposal in the Ohio House to give First Energy so-called clean energy credits, about $180 million per year in even more  money earmarked for the  Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants for the next 12 years.

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