Who (other than FirstEnergy) understands the inner workings of the Ohio Edison Electric rate hikes?

Sue Daugherty
Mar 23, 2010

Well, I went to the forum that the Ohio Consumer's Counsel (OCC) held in Sandusky on September 23. Its purpose was to educate electric customers on what the rate hike (Senate Bill 221) is about. The theory being that once the customers understood the new law (SB 221) they could then understand Ohio Edison's rate hikes and voice their support or opposition. (Electric rates are scheduled to increase in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Then in 2012 they file for another re-rating.)

For me, the OCC provoked questions that need to be answered by FirstEnergy before a customer could know whether or not to support the hike in electric rates. Here's what I took away from the OCC's forum/meeting and from doing a little research of my own. Also, I spoke with Dave Rinebolt, attorney and director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy and Mark Durbin, Senior Public Relations Representative for FirstEnergy.

According to the OCC, First Energy's net income in 2007 was $1.31 billion. Over three years consumer rates would increase an "average" of $2.04/month in 2009, $3.06/month in 2010 and $5.22/month in 2011. (This is based on consuming 750 kwh/month.) No estimate was given for the "average" cost increase for a home that is ALL electric.

If you're like me, you are probably breathing a sigh of relief when you read those dollar amounts. But don't! The devil is in the details. The rest of the story is, the "average" household numbers don't reflect the house that is all electric. All electric homes will cost much more, but no one can tell me how much more. Until the customer gets an answer to that question how can he/she support or oppose this rate hike? If you owned an all electric home, wouldn't you like to know that answer?

The other devilish detail that deserves more explanation is this "deferring costs" to supposedly help the customer. All that means is that the rate hike that customers are going to experience in 2009, 2010 and 2011 aren't the real costs. It appears as though FirstEnergy gets to put off charging the customer the real costs and recoup them later. With a net income in 2007 of $1.31 billion, I can only believe that this is a lucrative business decision on the part of FirstEnergy.

At first listen, "deferring" a hike in rates sounds real good. Is sounds like FirstEnergy is concerned about the customer's well-being and is trying to mitigate the financial burden, as best as possible. What we aren't being told is the costs FirstEnergy is not recouping today will be recouped in their next "Electric Security Plan" for 2012. What will that cost the customer? Until we know the answers to all of these questions in clear and certain terms, citizens should be applying severe pressure to refuse the proposed increase in electric rates.

Write to the PUCO at 180 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. While you are at it, write to our governor, who appoints commissioners to serve on the PUCO, The Governor's Office, Riffe Center, 30th Floor, 77 South High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-6108.

Comments

Anonymous

The Amushungkwa Indians say that the true medicine man will take strength from the poison of others and fly like an eagle in to the future…

Anonymous

When I see Sara Palin on TV one thing comes to mind, Drill Baby, Drill”
America needs to exploit all of our natural resources. When I see Sara Palin I’m reminded of exploiting and I say Drill Baby, Drill. Sara Palin is right, we need to get on the ground and suock all that energy right out. There’s a load out there waiting for drilling and suocking. That suocking sound isn’t the economy, that suocking sound is Sara Palin saving the economy, Drill baby, Drill.

Anonymous

It is dolt not dult. You too desperately need the assistance of my machine. C'on, don't be afraid. I'm only here to help.

Anonymous

re: okay artie. I dont need help from your machine or you, you cross-dressing nutcase. Go back to reading something on your level, like your John McCain propaganda and leave me alone you weirdo.

Anonymous

Don't knock it till you've tried it. Meet me @ the Crowbar tonight around 8:30. We can have that drink & settle this the way we should. I'll be the one with fishnet stockings & the tube top. Hurry!

Anonymous

Why did you try to hide? You don't need to delete this either.

Anonymous

Oh this is so Halloweenie, the bone-chilling phantom of the blog…

He’s so scary with his Steely Dan…. HOOOOO!

BLACKJACK

hey phantomz im not hiding come on out I,ll play with-u i like breakn things like fingers

Anonymous

I once heard a saying that went something like this: When they start smearing your intellect, take solace that you're ideas are intimidating to them. When was hard work no matter what the circumstance, a bad thing? I don't know about anyone else, but I have a lot of respect for a person that works third shift on a night stocking crew. That shows me that he would rather work to take care of himself and his family than collect welfare. It's not what you do in life, but how you live it, that is important at the end of the day. Yet ye who is without fault, cast the first stone. I think I read that somewhere once..........

Anonymous

Well stated. Dittos.

Anonymous

Well I see Averagejoe has advanced to to fourth grade, hes learned how to copy and paste.

Anonymous

Welcome back Blackjack. We missed tou hallucinations........NOT!

Gulliver

Here are some final thoughts as you continue to deliberate on the proposed Ohio Edison rate hike and whether it's fair or necessary:

TO MY WISH - I echo your sentiments exactly. The bill and First Energy's business is so complicated that the average consumer couldn't possibly understand if the rate hike is fair/equitable/necessary. I suspect
that keeping the consumer confused is all part of the strategy. How can you oppose something you don't understand?

TO ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE: I'm with ya!! Especially your comment on "Maybe now is the time for local officials to pursue, or at least investigate. It could be one of the best investments for now and in the future".

Keep in mind that your recommendation would require an elected official to be willing to do tons of research (hard intellectual work and lots of time & effort) to champion this cause. IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?

TO ALL ELECTRIC: Your statement of "So it goes up a buck or two. Big deal".

You are assuming your ALL ELECTRIC rate will only cost a buck or two more. I tried to get confirmation on that assumption from First Energy's Public Relations Representative. He would not confirm or deny. All he could say is that he didn't know. (That's not a good sign) I suspect you will find out if your assumption is true (or not) after January 1, 2009. I hope you're right, but my gut tells me otherwise. Good luck.

TO WAH, WAH, WHA - "I would say it's pretty reasonable"... "Deal with it". Be careful of what still remains as an unknown... if it was so "reasonable", there would be more transparency. If there was more transparency the typical consumer could truly understand the pricing structure of the Electric Service Plan. Neither is the case with this rate hike.

Again, thanks for the comments!

BLACKJACK

Electric not cheap. Kep flashlighs incase you get cut off. Gas is cool to but not lik electric. U can heat and see cook with electric Hez Art I got plenty room on my foot for ur azz

Anonymous

f….art, BlackJack could kill you without laughing!!!!

Anonymous

Has your answer Sue. He knows it all.

Anonymous

I am probably the only person on this site that has met Tony Alexander (First Energy CEO) face to face. This topic did come up, and trust me it is not as bad as you think it is.

The First Energy spokesperson cannot say for sure how much more your bill will be because he or she does not know you usage habbits. He or she is a spokesperson not a fortune teller.

Like I said before, I would stop complaining and start counting my blessings. Remember AEP is jacking rates up by 45% just a few miles south of us. First Energy has not had a base-rate increase in over a dozen years.

Anonymous

Im real scared blackjoke I mean blackjack. Im suprised your foot isnt up brokebacks rear, or is that where your pet gerbil is. Why dont you and brokeback bill trod on down to that bar you patronize that is guilty of stealing gas, and have yourselves a cocktail.Go back to your "fruity drinks, and leave the comments on this blog to the real men.

BLACKJACK

Listn az I never stold gas, I dont hav a car anway. U come to the crowbar an il buy u a drink an stand on ur face while I drink mind

Anonymous

Say hello to my little machine.

Anonymous

Take a hike oh artie, Art V is BLACKJACKS punk!!!!!

Anonymous

Just great.

Anonymous

Hey "oh artie', I call mine my Johnson

Anonymous

McCain?

Anonymous

You're not the only one on this site that has met and talked to Tony face-to-face. In fact, I do it on a pretty consistent basis. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, other than just name dropping...

You are correct that AEP is increasing rates 45%, but even with that increase their per kwh cost to the consumer will probably still be lower than FirstEnergy. FirstEnergy has by far the highest Average Residential Price of any electrical utility in the nation.

Anonymous

And, oh yeah, it's pretty bad...

Anonymous

I gotta tell a Artie you're sounding to me just a little mad at the world... Have you spoken to your counselor about these anger issues??

Anonymous

AEP's rate is 17.5 cents a KWH if you go over 500 KWH in a month. First Energy's rate is 5.9 cents. This is using figures before AEP jacks up their rates 45%. So as you see, it is not really that bad.

Lets all breathe a sigh of relief, and talk about some serious issues.

Anonymous

How about we get the same health care as our leaders? The Gop& Dems get great coverage that we pay for! Isn't that limited national care? Yes. Yes it is. Now as Joe Tex would say GIVE IT HERE!

Anonymous

this is a value. check around it could be worse.

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