Ohio Universities File Complaint Against FirstEnergy Solutions Over Polar Vortex Surcharge
March 3, 2015 Email This Story Copyright 2010-15 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
Several Ohio universities have filed a complaint at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio against FirstEnergy Solutions regarding FES's imposition of an RTO Expense Surcharge, to recover polar vortex-related ancillaries, on the universities' fixed price contracts.
Complainants include Cleveland State University, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and University of Toledo, among others.
Complainants said that their supply agreements indicate that all electric energy metered at the specified delivery points shall be billed at a fixed price per kilowatt-hour.
Complainants said that, "The RTO Expense Surcharge represented FES’ attempt to recover from the Universities higher PJM fees than what FES had experienced in the immediate past. The RTO Expense Surcharge is not and was not the product of any change to either the terms of the Agreement; not the result of an imposition upon the Supplier of new or additional charges or requirements; and was not the result of any change in the method or procedure for determining charges or requirements relating to the electric supply under the Agreement."
Complainants alleged that FirstEnergy Solutions has now threatened or actually carried out applying a late payment charge to the universities’ monthly electric bill because the universities have not rendered payment for the RTO Expense Surcharge.
Complainants alleged that FES contacted the University of Akron and demanded payment of the RTO Expense Surcharge within 30 days or else FES will initiate collections activity, will cancel the supply agreement, returning the University of Akron to the standard service and will hold the University of Akron responsible for payment of all costs associated with early termination.
Additionally, Complainants alleged that Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company has threatened to shut off all electric service to Cleveland State University because of the disputed and thus unpaid RTO Expense Surcharge for FES.
Complainants asked PUCO to find that the RTO Expense Surcharge is not a pass-through event under their contracts, and to find that FES’s assessment of the RTO Expense Surcharge is, "an unfair. misleading, deceptive, and/or unconscionable practice," in violation of Ohio regulations.