Deal Would Saddle Consumers with Financial Risk of FE’s Uneconomic Power Plants
The Retail Energy Supply Association today issued the following statement in opposition to a proposed rate plan settlement that FirstEnergy has filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio:
This proposed settlement is a bad bargain for Ohio’s electricity consumers and the state’s economy.
In an abrupt shift in its position, PUCO staff that once opposed the FirstEnergy proposal now supports forcing Ohio’s ratepayers to pay billions of additional dollars, through a surcharge on their bill for the next 8 years, to bail out the utility’s old and inefficient power plants.
This settlement transfers the considerable financial risks of these uneconomic power plants from the utility to consumers, guaranteeing a fat rate of return. This Fortune 500 company won’t take on the financial risk of these power plants, but it wants hard-working consumers to do so.
Ohio consumers receive nothing in return for these billions of dollars that will only serve to enrich the utility’s shareholders.
And by bankrolling power plants, this deal will serve as a disincentive for investments in new, more efficient power plants that take advantage of the state’s abundant Utica Shale natural gas reserves.
This is a bad deal for Ohio, reversing the significant progress made by Ohio over the past few years, and is wholly inconsistent with a competitive market and the value it brings to Ohio customers.