photo of power transmission lines

It’s not every day that a group known for defending the free market celebrates federal intervention. But a conservative group in Ohio is saying the feds made the right choice by blocking a temporary rate hike plan from AEP and FirstEnergy.  

photo of FirstEnergy building

Federal regulators have blocked Akron-based FirstEnergy and Columbus-based American Electric Power from imposing controversial rate hikes  on customers to bring in money for struggling coal and nuclear plants.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says the deals that state regulators approved last month for FirstEnergy and AEP aren’t valid unless they get federal approval. Among those celebrating is Todd Snitchler, who’s with a group of electricity generators that opposed the utilities plans.

First Energy building (center) in downtown Akron
Tim Rudell / WKSU

FirstEnergy is saying: “Switch-2-Green-4-Free.” That’s both the name of a renewable-energy credit purchasing plan it is rolling out for residential customers, and how the program works.  

Sammis plant

Ohioans could see a new charge on their electric bills as early as June, now that state regulators have approved plans by FirstEnergy and AEP to guarantee income for struggling coal plants. But opponents of the costs say the fight isn’t over. 


Ohio regulators have approved a pair of deals that allow utilities FirstEnergy and AEP to impose multi-billion-dollar rate increases on electricity customers to subsidize older coal-fired and nuclear power plants.  

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously passed the power purchase agreements 5- 0, which the companies say have clear benefits to the companies and to consumers.