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FirstEnergy rate request worries consumer advocates

Exponent Telegram graphic
Exponent Telegram graphic

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — FirstEnergy’s proposed $165 million rate increase — filed Aug. 14 with the state Public Service Commission — has the state’s consumer advocates concerned.

The requested rate increase comes after a series of high-profile cases involving FirstEnergy over the past few years — including the controversial 2013 transfer of the Harrison Power Station.

“We are very concerned about the level of rate relief the company’s requesting,” Jackie Roberts, executive director of the PSC’s Consumer Advocate Division, said. “We are in the process of evaluating the filing to understand what drives their cost request.

“This is a very large rate increase following on the heels of other large rate increases, and we will be carefully scrutinizing this case.”

The most recent proposed rate increase comes roughly six months after the resolution of a nearly year-long base rate case that resulted in rate increases for FirstEnergy’s West Virginia subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison.

A February order from the PSC granted the companies a $63 million rate increase. The companies originally had pursued an increase of closer to $150 million.

But officials were quick to point out that the latest filing from FirstEnergy represents a different kind of rate request…

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