Critics slam higher Ohio utility reconnection fee

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio consumer advocates are shaking their heads over a fee increase for people to get their heat back on when they’ve been disconnected.

Regulators recently raised the utility reconnection charge to a maximum of $36, up from the old $20.

Marty Berkowitz, spokesman for the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, says the extra $16 is a lot of money for households already struggling to pay their bills.

A spokeswoman for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio says the regulators felt the higher fee more accurately reflects what it costs utilities to restore service.

The charge is part of a program overseen by the commission which allows customers to be reconnected one time during the cold weather months, provided they pay the fee and part of their unpaid bill.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.