Town Hall meetings on electric bill increases

Councilman George Sarantou says a bill currently in the Ohio House of Representatives could lead to a $600 dollar a year increase for the average Toledo resident's electric bill.
Councilman George Sarantou says a bill currently in the Ohio House of Representatives could lead to a $600 dollar a year increase for the average Toledo resident's electric bill.
Concerned citizen George Davis said at a town meeting, "PUCO asks for something and the utility companies bend over backward to give it to them. Give us something for a change."
Concerned citizen George Davis said at a town meeting, "PUCO asks for something and the utility companies bend over backward to give it to them. Give us something for a change."
Richard Eppert also attended the meeting. He says, "You're going to set these people back, so they're going to have to choose either to eat or move out of their homes."
Richard Eppert also attended the meeting. He says, "You're going to set these people back, so they're going to have to choose either to eat or move out of their homes."

TOLEDO, WAUSEON, MAUMEE, SANDUSKY -- What you pay for utilities could be going up according to one Toledo city councilman. Councilman George Sarantou says a bill currently in the Ohio House of Representatives could lead to a $600 dollar a year increase for the average Toledo resident's electric bill.

So what can you do to stop this from happening? Public hearings will be held by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to give residential consumers the opportunity to voice their opinions on a base rate increase proposed by FirstEnergy.

Toledo

Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 1:30 p.m., Michael V. Disalle Government Center, One Government Center, Lucas County Commissioners' Hearing Room, First Floor, 640 Jackson Street

Wauseon

Wauseon - Tuesday, March 11, 2008, 6:30 p.m., City of Wauseon Municipal Building, Council Chambers, Second Floor, 230 Clinton Street

Maumee

Maumee - Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 6:30 p.m., Maumee Municipal Building, Maumee City Council Chambers, 400 Conant Street

Sandusky

Sandusky - Monday, March 17, 2008, 1:30 p.m., Erie County Office Building, Commission Chambers, Third Floor, 247 Columbus Avenue

Call or email

You contact Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) directly. You can write a letter to PUCO with this reference number on the envelope: 07-551-EL-AIR. Letters should be sent to

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

Attn: Docketing Division

180 E. Broad Street

Columbus, OH 43215

Also, here is the Contact Us page of the PUCO web site.

You can also call or email your local representative to weigh in on how you feel about utility rates. (Find your district or representative.)

Background from Sarantou's web site

Sarantou is the chair of the Toledo City Council's Finance and Budget Committee. He has been involved in finding ways to control the ever-increasing cost of public utilities in Toledo. Through his efforts locally, and working with State legislators, pressure is being placed on utility companies and the PUCO to find efficiencies that will translate into the stabilization of costs and/or savings for citizens. He is a member of the Mayor's Public Utilities Committee that is exploring the creation of a municipal electric utility.

Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC)

The Ohio Consusmers counsel is also involved in the subject of the rate increase. The OCC believes the proposed rate increase for FirstEnergy is unreasonable. FirstEnergy proposed a $340 million annual revenue increase in June 2007, including an increase of $109 million for Cleveland Electric Illuminating, $161 million for Ohio Edison and $71 million for Toledo Edison.

Based on the work of accountants, economists and other experts working for the OCC, the rate increases proposed for FirstEnergy should be reduced by millions of dollars.

Posted by LS