Northeast Ohioans Weigh In on Electric Rates

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Last year, a coalition of consumer groups and companies filed objections to First Energy's proposal to hike it's rates to cover the costs of distributing electricity to cities across Northern Ohio.

The State Public Utilities Commission has been holding public hearings about the rate hikes for the past week, and they will be visiting Cleveland and Shaker Heights today.

Although the costs of energy generation in Ohio were deregulated a number of years ago, Ryan Lippe of the Ohio Consumers Counsel says the regulation of how power is distributed is still in place.

LIPPE: Nothing has really changed, in terms of that part of a customer's rate. First Energy is still responsible for maintaining reliable service in the communities, and the Public Utilities Commission is responsible for allowing them to recoup their money, plus a reasonable rate of return.

Consumers with objections to the rate hike can have their concerns heard this afternoon at 1:30 at the State Office Building in downtown Cleveland, and at Shaker Heights City Hall, tonight at 6:30. The P-U-C-O will also be holding a hearing on Monday in Sandusky.

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