AARP Eye Center
AARP Criticizes PUCO’s First Energy Ruling as a Corporate Bailout Funded by Ohio Consumers and a Dangerous Precedent
Rider ignores benefits competitive energy market brings Ohio consumers and businesses; harmful to financial security of all Ohioans
Trey Addison, Associate State Director of Advocacy for AARP Ohio issued a statement today in response to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) decision to accept a First Energy rider that could result in $1 Billion in additional fees to Ohio’s consumers over the next three to five years:
“It is unfortunate PUCO has decided that Ohioans should subsidize the failing business model of First Energy. This creates a terrible precedent by PUCO and others to bailout companies threatening to leave the state, on the backs of the people that work hard and pay their bills every month. Not only will the increase disproportionately impact consumers with low and fixed incomes, it negates any benefits a more competitive energy market brings to businesses and consumers – including lower wholesale energy prices.
Even though this is cloaked in grid modernization, the reality is it is a simple income transfer or corporate giveaway. Noticeably absent in the rider is any language that prevents First Energy from using the bonus funds generated for anything other than grid-modernization. We anticipate that this deal may be voided by the courts or FERC as interfering with the wholesale market and picking winners and losers. AARP intends to continue advocating for transparency in rate-making and utility costs on behalf of our 1.5 million Ohio members and their families.”