DAYTON, OHIO (WDTN) – FirstEnergy has agreed to the demands of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, by stopping the use of a clause within House Bill 6, which would’ve cost customers an additional $102 million in 2021.
The settlement was handled out of court, resulting in a guaranteed profit rider adding to a $150 million nuclear bailout which is also kept in HB6, which Yost blocked with court actions in December. General Yost’s actions in court are estimated to save Ohioans almost $2 billion dollars over years where House Bill 6 was in effect.
FirstEnergy was supposed to show the settlement to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) on February 1st for implementation.
“The manufacture, large users of commercial users, electricity…would’ve had a very significant financial impact that would’ve impacted their ability to grow and thrive in this coronavirus economy,” said Yost.
This settlement wasn’t the beginning. General Yost filed a motion in Franklin County Common Please Court this January, in hopes of denying FirstEnergy usage of a decoupling provision which was held in HB6. FirstEnergy was allowed to adjust their rates to ensure the company made around $978 million a year going ahead. The benchmark is from a cold winter and hot summer in 2018 where combined this boosted FirstEnergy’s revenue to the nearly $1 billion dollars.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has expressed frustration with the situation. “It’s ridiculous. We’re not even in this First Energy’s area, yet Dayton ratepayers would have to pay for it? Basically because the state house is bought and sold by some energy company up in Akron? That doesn’t seem fair it’s not right,” said Whaley.
In hopes of avoiding going to court, FirstEnergy agreed to the terms of AG Yost. The terms were that FirstEnergy must file an emergency application with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio the 1st of February, immediately setting the decoupling rider to zero dollars. PUCO then must hold an approval meeting of the application. Then, once FirstEnergy has confirmed they’re no longer charging rates, Yost has agreed to remove the motion in court.
The rest of the case will stay in Court, with both parties agreeing to remain further proceedings pending until the end of a federal criminal trial.