First Energy audit recommends $6.6 million be returned to customers

Ohio
FirstEnergy Stock

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) audit report released Tuesday recommends $6.6 million should be returned to customers.

This audit is a part of the PUCO’s ongoing proceedings to investigate last year’s House Bill 6 bribery scandal.

The audit examined expenses FirstEnergy Corp. listed in its Feb. 18, 2021 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and found them to be improperly classified, misallocated, or lacked supporting documentation. The audit examined payments to 17 vendors over a 10-year period, totaling $24.5 million.

The audit report identifies $6.6 million of the $24.5 million that were included in customer bills and should be refunded.

The audit took issues with $2.4 million that were charged to customers in base distribution rates, $4.15 million charged to customers through the demand side management and energy efficiency rider. The audit also identified $82,850 charged to customers in pole attachment rates. Pole attachment rates are generally only paid by other utilities, telecom providers and municipal corporations.

A complete and unredacted audit report, prepared by the PUCO’s independent third-party auditor, is available in the case docket online in case 20-1629-EL-RDR.

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