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Group Seeks Refunding Mechanism For Coal Plant Subsidies

Andy Chow

A consumer advocacy group is filing a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, calling on the state regulators to allow for a possible refund on electric bills. The motion has to do with a new charge customers pay to subsidize coal plans through House Bill 6.

The Citizens Utility Board of Ohio says ratepayers with FirstEnergy are sending $1 million a month to two coal plants, one in Gallia County and the other in Madison, Indiana.

Each customers pays about $0.58 month for the subsidy.

The advocates are asking the PUCO to create a legal mechanism in order to refund those ratepayers.

The group's Tom Bullock says the coal plant subsidies are part of several measures in HB6, which was allegedly passed through a bribery scheme.

"We're pulling on one thread here and they all go back to the source which is that you have public policy driven to benefit the utility perspective and that wasn't balanced appropriately with consumers and other energy users," says Bullock.

The refunding mechanism which would only go into effect if lawmakers repeal HB6.