The growing debate over nuclear power’s role in curbing emissions is running headlong into an ongoing controversy over “bailouts” for Ohio’s largest utility.
While other Ohio utilities continued to offer a range of money-saving efficiency programs during the recent two-year freeze on the state’s clean energy standards, FirstEnergy moved to gut most of its efficiency programs in 2014.
FirstEnergy told Ohio regulators this week that more than $200 million in annual charges wasn’t nearly enough to prop up the company’s credit rating.
A new charge ordered by Ohio regulators last week could add up to $1 billion into FirstEnergy’s coffers without requiring the company to do any specific work in return.
Critics say FirstEnergy’s plan to resume its energy efficiency programs in Ohio could let the company take credit for work done by others and make millions of dollars as a result — at customers’ expense.
Efforts by Ohio utilities to guarantee income for affiliated coal and nuclear operations are part of a broader trend, according to a new report by legal analysts.
Two Democratic lawmakers concerned about job losses in their southeast Ohio districts have spoken out in support of a FirstEnergy plan that critics say is an unlawful “bailout.”
Despite announcing the closure of four units at an Ohio coal plant, the amount of money FirstEnergy could recover from customers in new charges has now ballooned to more than $8 billion.
Environmental and consumer advocates joined with energy companies last week in asking federal regulators to reject FirstEnergy’s revised plan to impose a mandatory surcharge on all of its utility distribution customers in Ohio.
FirstEnergy’s latest attempt to recast its Ohio plan to guarantee income for certain power plants remains fatally flawed in the eyes of challengers and other critics.