Author Archives: Dick Munson

New Report Confirms FirstEnergy’s $4-Billion Boondoggle

ieefa fe reportFirstEnergy’s plea to keep four aging power plants alive will cost Ohio customers almost $4 billion, according to a new study out today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The proposal is currently in front of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

The report, entitled A $4 Billion Bailout in the Buckeye State, outlines in clear terms how the utility giant hopes to force Ohioans to subsidize the continued operation of its outdated power plants, put customers on the hook for those plants’ escalating costs, and ensure future profits for FirstEnergy executives and shareholders. Read More »

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Debunking Silly Arguments for Utility Protectionism

2008_Weak_&_Strong_Arguments_BRYANS.jpegOhio utilities FirstEnergy and AEP, as readers of this blog know too well, want the Buckeye State to bail out their uneconomic power plants. Combined, their proposals before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) would run Ohioans nearly $6 billion in increased costs. We understand where the companies’ greedy desire for subsidies comes from, but the arguments for them have become downright silly.

Let’s review why FirstEnergy and AEP’s bailout justifications don’t hold up: Read More »

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Why this Utility Giant's $4-billion Coal Bailout is an Ill-Fated Energy Strategy

Clean energy investments are soaring worldwide, and the United States is no exception with $56 billion going toward renewable generation in 2015, an 8-percent increase over the year before.

So why are some utilities going against this trend – and risking a contest against more progressive competitors that are gaining market share at their expense?

To understand why, it helps to have a closer look at Ohio-based FirstEnergy, a large investor-owned energy company with operations in six states that has become the poster child for resistant utilities.

The FirstEnergy case also illustrates why companies that refuse change won’t be able to stop the rising clean energy tide, no matter how hard they try. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, FirstEnergy, Ohio, Utility Business Models| Leave a comment

The Business Case against FirstEnergy’s Bailout

Team of business people working together on a laptop

Reading testimony filed before any public utility commission can be a mind-numbing exercise. Comments often are filled with jargon, acronyms, and other elements indecipherable to an outsider.

But when it comes to recent remarks from Ohio corporations about FirstEnergy’s proposed bailout, which would prop up its outdated power plants for the next eight years, the filings are clear – and damning. The business community sees right through the unfair deal. Read More »

Posted in FirstEnergy, Ohio| Comments are closed

Want a Level Playing Field for Energy? Reject AEP’s Bailout

ohioCritics of American Electric Power’s (AEP) bailout have been quick to call out the utility for forcing Ohioans to prop up its uneconomic coal fleet. They note how the deal will cost customers $2 billion to keep open AEP power plants that would otherwise close.

One complaint we haven’t heard yet comes from Senator Bill Seitz, chairman of the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee. Sen. Seitz recently joined in on criticizing AEP’s bailout proposal – but for the wrong reasons. Rather than attack the multibillion dollar subsidies going to outdated power plants, the senator critiques a small carve-out for a new solar energy project in Appalachia that will employ veterans. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy| Comments are closed

Pennsylvania Continues Moving toward Smarter, Cleaner Electric Grid

Just in time for the hSolar-3-2011_11_17_0003 morgueolidays, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) quietly gave the gift of more affordable electricity to millions of Pennsylvanians.

PECO Energy Company, a leading Pennsylvania utility, had requested a significant distribution rate increase – meaning higher bills for its approximately 1.6 million electric customers. After months of discussion, last week the PUC approved a settlement with a lower rate increase and a directive for PECO to hold a series of collaborative meetings with all interested parties on revenue decoupling, or separating a utility's profits from its sales. Decoupling suggests a system in which utilities are rewarded based on the overall service they provide, rather than the amount of electricity they sell.

The PUC’s decision represents a win for grid modernization and distributed energy resources like energy efficiency, energy storage, and rooftop solar in the Keystone State. Read More »

Posted in Electricity Pricing, Pennsylvania, Utility Business Models| Comments are closed
  • Director, Midwest Clean Energy
    Dick Munson is EDF's Director, Midwest Clean Energy, where he works to advance the use of clean energy in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Dick currently focuses on creating new financing opportunities for efficiency, ensuring smart meters provide the real-time data that will enable consumers to cut energy and pollution, and building the business case for efficiency within commercial buildings.

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