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Budget Provision Allows Utilities To Charge Customers More To Boost Credit Rating

Ohio Senate Omnibus Amendment Summary for HB49
Budget amendment would pave way for utilities to charge customers extra fee in order to boost credit rating.

Leaders in the House and Senate are on the brink of approving a provision that would allow power companies to add another fee to your electric bill. The idea is to boost the utilities’ credit ratings. 

The line item in the budget would give the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio the authority to allow price hikes in order to raise a utility’s credit rating.

Dan Sawmiller with the Sierra Club says this measure is no different than the other attempts by utilities to get subsidies to offset struggling coal plants.

“The idea is the same. Poor investments were made in particularly coal-fired power plants that now have left these utilities in a poor financial situation and they’re asking customers to have to bail them out.”

This is third attempt by lawmakers to pass a measure that would allow extra fees on electric bills. One of Ohio’s largest utilities, FirstEnergy, says they are still looking it over and have no comment now.

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