The Press Newspaper
FirstEnergy cost plan challenged
The OCC filed its protest last week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, arguing the utility has not provided sufficient evidence to show customers will benefit from the utility's decision to change regional transmission organizations. The FERC should instead require FirstEnergy's shareholders to pay the costs resulting from the utility's switch from the Midwest ISO to the PJM Interconnection, Consumers’ Counsel Janine Migden-Ostrander said.
"FirstEnergy has asked to recover substantial and unwarranted costs from its transmission customers," Consumers' Counsel Janine Migden-Ostrander said. "Given that this was a business decision, passing on the substantial cost increases to captive customers for these decisions is not justified or right."
The OCC is estimating the transfer of FirstEnergy's transmission assets to PJM could cost customers as much as $84 million annually, or a 38 percent increase in the transmission portion of residential customers' bill.
A settlement approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in August 2010 would prevent FirstEnergy from recovering some of the costs from customers should the FERC decide the utility can recover the costs of the RTO switch. The OCC argued FERC should not allow any of the costs resulting from the switch to be collected from FirstEnergy's customers.
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