Consumer victory: First Energy bills going down

By Jonathon Walsh - email | bio
Posted by LS - email

(WTOL) - Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken says a new ruling could put cash in your pocket every month.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ruled that First Energy cannot continue a transition charge on your bill. Gerken says it was supposed to stop December 31, 2008 and PUCO told First Energy that it cannot continue into the new year. It's effective immediately. The average family will save is $20-25.

Commissioner Gerken has been testifying in Columbus and in Toledo when PUCO comes to town. He says it's been a long battle, but finally the people in our area are going to see something of a break in their electric bills. "For the first time in about 10 years, the Public Utilities Commission has stood up for rate payers. For years we've been going to Columbus saying 'We've got to do something about rate payers.'"

First Energy tells News 11 PUCO "failed in its responsibility to protect customers and uphold the law." A spokesperson said "Today's ruling jeopardizes service and reliability."

The company adds that they are "reviewing" their options, which include filing a motion to hold off on the ruling, or even presenting this case to the supreme court.

As of now, Commissioner Gerken says the ruling is effective, and you should see the savings in your next bill.