Federal prosecutors claim “Team Householder” used money secretly funneled from FirstEnergy to win passage of House Bill 6, which provided $1 billion to rescue two nuclear plants operated by a then-FirstEnergy subsidiary, and to engage in a dirty tricks campaign to stop a proposed referendum aimed at repealing the bill. Householder has pleaded not guilty and remains a state representative.
The Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, which represents the interests of residential electricity customers, had asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to order FirstEnergy to “remedy what would be a miscarriage or perversion of justice” if the company would be allowed to keep the revenue guarantee money.
“Ohio should not allow FirstEnergy to walk away from House Bill 6 with even a penny of consumers’ money,” Consumers' Counsel Bruce Weston said in a statement. "It is good to see FirstEnergy’s announcement today that it will refund these House Bill 6 charges to consumers, even if it took legislation and the potential for PUCO action to help FirstEnergy see the light.”
Then-CEO Chuck Jones told investors after the passage of the energy bill in July 2019 that the rate guarantee made a portion of the company “recession proof.” Jones is among top executives who were fired after last summer's arrests.
The guarantee, called decoupling, is one of the less-discussed provisions in the energy bill.
Seewer reported from Toledo.