AARP Ohio Applauds House Decision to End First Energy Nuclear Hearings
The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee suspended further hearings for a proposed bill which would have allowed First Energy and other utility companies to charge customers a special subsidy designed to offset costs associated with upgrading their outdated nuclear plants.
“On behalf of the 1.5 million AARP members across Ohio, and their families I want to extend my thanks to the Ohio House committee and members for recognizing the unfairness of this proposed bill and taking action to protect Ohio consumers from unnecessary and costly fees, “ said AARP Ohio’s State Director, Barbara A. Sykes.
“The bill would have allowed First Energy to unfairly transfer financial burdens from its outdated nuclear plants to customers. Customers would have felt the extra pinch in their wallets for the next 15 years. If First Energy is unable to sell electricity from these plants at market rates, any resulting financial burdens should be borne by its shareholders and creditors who assumed the financial risks of investing in and lending money to First Energy. Not their customers,” added Earl Goldhammer, an AARP Ohio Volunteer.
AARP has been actively monitoring the use of surcharges and subsidies by utility companies in Ohio and other deregulated states and estimates that since 2000 Ohio utility companies have added $14.67 billion to consumer’s bills.