A split Ohio Supreme Court has blocked a charge FirstEnergy customers have been paying since 2017, saying state regulators improperly allowed it to go forward. This charge cost customers as much as $200 million for each of those two years.
The Public Utilities Commission and FirstEnergy had argued the charge was to shore up credit so the utility could begin the very expensive grid modernization process.
Kimberly Bojko represented manufacturers, residential and commercial groups. She told the justices in January this rider is an "illegal corporate bailout" that customers will be forced to pay for "without any meaningful protections to ensure that their funds are ever used to modernize distribution infrastructure and not subsidize FirstEnergy’s parent company, FirstEnergy Corp.”
Four justices agreed, saying when the PUCO approved the rider, it didn’t put conditions on it.
It’s unclear whether customers who paid the charge will get their money refunded.