Tuesday, August 30, 2016

FirstEnergy Wants to Charge Ratepayers $568 Million per Year in Surcharges

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 3:48 PM

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In an outrageous proposal reminiscent of Cleveland sports-franchise owners, energy giant FirstEnergy wants to charge ratepayers surcharges worth $568 million per year over eight years to "compensate for the economic impact of having its headquarters in Akron," Bloomberg reports.  

In an interview with Bloomberg, a FirstEnergy VP used threatening language — the Sin Tax vibes are everywhere — to say that the the state's public utilities commission (PUCO) should amend a plan to provide vastly more aid than initially proposed.

"They should weigh the value of keeping our nexus of operations in Akron," Eileen Mikkelsen, the VP, told Bloomberg. "If the commission thinks that is important to the state, they should recognize that in their order." 

PUCO had suggested surcharges totaling $131 million over three years for the utility company that is supposedly struggling and yet boasted revenues of more than $15 billion in 2014 and 2015.

"FirstEnergy says it...can live with the structure of [PUCO's] plan if the amounts pledged to the company are increased. Instead of a total of $393 million in aid, it should get $558 million a year for nearly eight years, or $4.5 billion. And on top of that, it wants compensation of as much as $568 million for the added impact of salaries, vendor purchases and local employee spending in Akron," Bloomberg reports.  

FirstEnergy employs 1,360 people at its Akron headquarters. Among other things, it pays $6 million per year to the Cleveland Browns for stadium naming rights.

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