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BREAKING NEWS: Strickland calls on PUCO to halt lightbulb program

Published: Wed, October 7, 2009 @ 5:07 p.m.


Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon)

COLUMBUS — Gov. Ted Strickland has called on the Public Utilities Commission to postpone a light bulb program being implemented by First Energy following a public outcry over the costs and methodology involved.

In a letter sent late Wednesday afternoon to PUCO, Strickland wrote that his office had received "a very high volume of calls" following media reports of First Energy's plans.

"Ohioans are confused and angry and are looking for answers," he wrote. "First, the bulb program has been thrust upon them without their approval or prior knowledge.

Second, it is my understanding that two bulbs will be provided at a cost in excess of $21. It is common knowledge that the efficient bulbs can be purchased for significantly less at popular retail outlets. Third, I am interested to know if there are any U.S. suppliers of these bulbs, or if First Energy had considered the use of bulbs manufactured in the United States."

He added, "Since First Energy's program is under the purview of the PUCO, I am asking that you provide to me and members of the General Assembly answers to these questions and more details as to how these programs were developed."

First Energy received approval from the PUCO last month to move forward with the plan, providing 3.75 million compact fluorescent light bulbs to residential customers.

Those same customers will pay about 60 cents extra on their electric bills per month for the next three years. The company says the bulbs will save customers about $60 over a five- to seven-year period.

The news comes after a day of consternation in newspapers, on radio talk shows and on Internet Web sites concerning the program. Other area politicians seized on the opposition.

State Rep. Tom Letson, D-Warren, issued a statement Wednesday, saying, in part "I support promoting renewable energy sources, but First Energy’s light bulb program is neither effective nor fair. By charging all customers a hidden fee to pay for these bulbs, customers already using CFL’s are being unfairly punished with higher electric bills. And it is even more disturbing that First Energy is charging customers more than the retail price of these bulbs."

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Canfield, said he was "unsettled" by FirstEnergy’s plan.

“I don’t believe the action being taken by FirstEnergy is what the legislature had in mind with Senate Bill 221," he said in his statement. "I was not in office during the time of the vote, but I strongly disagree with forcing consumers to pay more than double the cost for the bulbs."

For more see Thursday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.


1pci510(105 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

If you all ready have the fluorescent light bulbs you should not have to pay a second time to have these First Energy Bulbs at a higher cost than people can afford to pay. We also find that more expensive bulbs have a smaller time frame and have to be replaced more often so we use a lesser costing fluorescent light bulb which has lasted over 6 years. Posted by Derick

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2yeahright(20 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

As we all know, the PUCO is owned by the utilities. Also, If you go to Home Depot, you can get a 4 pack of lights for as little as $9.00. By the way, NONE of the CFL's are made in the USA, ALL are imported from CHINA due to environmental issues.

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3AnotherBadIdea(2 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Once again peopel are taking advantage of the average person. A six pack of these bulbs cost $13.85 at Wal-Mart. If I am forced to take these I will short my bill until they come out and shut off the power.

The head of the PUCO should be fired for even thinking this was a good idea. So, the real question is who is making the profit and who is on the take, once again.

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4AnotherBadIdea(2 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Ok, some simple math. If the Wal-Mart price is correct. 6pk for $13.85 or $2.30 per bulb. Let's say they are making a 20% profit. This means Wal-Mart is making $2.77 on a 6pk of bulbs or 46 cents per bulb. This means the cost of the bulb is $1.84, which is actully alot less because this includes Wal-Mart cost to do business.

Ohio Edison or the PUCO, whoever, wants to charge us $10.50 per bulb. Using the $1.84 cost, these people want to make a profit $8.66 per bulb. On 3.75 million bulbs the profit is $32,475,000.

Now who's getting this?

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

"Strickland did something right?"

He had a fear of the voters . Capri Cafaro needs reviewed at elction time also . She could care less that this was going down .

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