PUCO Expands FirstEnergy Utility Rate Audit



COLUMBUS, OHIO (Dec. 15, 2021) – Today the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ordered its ongoing investigation of FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities be expanded to include an apparent non-disclosure of an agreement during a 2015 PUCO proceeding.

In its entry, the Commission stated information discovered during its four ongoing investigations indicate FirstEnergy failed to disclose an apparent “side deal” it entered in exchange for an industrial energy group dropping its opposition to the Ohio utilities’ then-ongoing electric security plan proceeding. Ohio law requires disclosure of such agreements.

The Commission further ordered this issue and portion of proceeding be bifurcated and stayed during the pendency of criminal investigations by the United States Attorney and other civil proceedings.

“Today’s action is just one example of our responsibility to follow the facts wherever they may lead and to investigate matters that are within our jurisdiction over utility rates and service. This commitment holds true in this case as well as in the three additional investigations opened by the Commission,” stated PUCO Chair Jenifer French. “Our decision to bifurcate and stay this issue and portion of the proceeding ensures that our investigations will not interfere with the criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney, or the action brought by the Ohio Attorney General.”

A previously filed expanded audit report of the utilities Delivery Capital Recovery Rider that recommends refunds and future rate reductions is unaffected by the stay.   

A copy of today’s PUCO entry is available online by visiting www.PUCO.ohio.gov, clicking the link to Docketing Information Services and searching for case 20-1629-EL-UNC.

RELATED AND ONGOING CASES

The PUCO has four separate pending investigations related to FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities and the passage of Amended Substitute House Bill 6 (133 G.A.)