FirstEnergy Reaches Settlement with Ohio to End For-Profit Rate Adjustments

COLUMBUS, Ohio – FirstEnergy has reached an out-of-court settlement with the state of Ohio that will end the utility’s adjustment of rates for profit, Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday.

A provision in House Bill 6 – the $150 million bailout of FirstEnergy’s nuclear power plants that has since become the center of a corruption scandal involving several state officials including former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder – allowed FirstEnergy to adjust rates ensuring it earned at least $978 million per year.

“Under its now-removed prior leadership, FirstEnergy built a feeding trough that it thought would guarantee it record profits year after year, filled with unearned money out of Ohioan’s pockets” Yost said in a statement. “This agreement recognizes the corrupt influence used to guarantee a for-profit company above-market returns for years to come by operation of law.”

Yost added the the settlement is projected to save Ohioans nearly $2 billion over the years H.B. 6 would have been effective.

To avoid court action, FirstEnergy has agreed to file an emergency application with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to immediately end the rate adjustment provision. PUCO must approve the application. Once FirstEnergy confirms adjusted rates are no longer being charged, Yost will withdraw the court motion in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

The remainder of the case, filed in January, will remain before the court. Both parties have agrees to stay proceedings until the end of federal criminal trials in the corruption scandal.

Image via FirstEnergy Corp. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.