By Marc Kovac
Environmental advocates are urging Ohio consumers to pick power options other than FirstEnergy in a dispute over clean-energy standards.
The Ohio Sierra Club plans to canvass neighborhoods, post billboards and online advertisements, send mailers to Ohioans and ask supporters to sign a pledge against the energy company.
“The pledge is to not choose FirstEnergy Solutions as their electric provider until FirstEnergy stops attacking energy-efficiency and renewable energy in Ohio and commits to creating significant carbon reduction by investing in local clean energy and energy-efficiency,” said Rashay Layman, a Sierra Club organizer, during a press conference at the Statehouse on Wednesday.
FirstEnergy countered that it has taken steps to promote energy-efficiency.
“FirstEnergy is successfully meeting the state’s energy-efficiency targets, and our customer programs are working,” spokesman Doug Colafella said in a released statement. “A good example is our energy- efficiency kits. As of last week, about 150,000 of our customers have requested a kit, and as a result, they are reducing their monthly electric bills. So it’s a shame this campaign could mislead customers into potentially missing out on an opportunity to reduce their bills further by switching to FirstEnergy Solutions. We’re helping millions of Ohio customers save on their energy bill through discounted electricity supply.”
The Sierra Club is citing August orders from the Public Utilities Commission for FirstEnergy to credit more than $43 million to customers for overcharging them for renewable-energy credits. FirstEnergy disputes that finding, and PUCO has agreed to a rehearing.