COLUMBUS— Rep. Daniel P. Troy (D-Willowick), working across the aisle in a joint effort with Rep. Laura Lanese (R- Grove City), provided sponsor testimony Wednesday before the House Public Utilities Committee on House Bill (HB) 260, which would require a refund of improperly charged electric utility charges collected from ratepayers.
“This is clearly and simply the ratepayers’ money, and it should not be an entitlement to the utilities to just keep regardless of it not even being employed for the alleged purpose for which it was collected,” said Rep. Troy when addressing the committee panel.
Data presented by the Ohio Consumers Council demonstrates that $1.5 billion of electricity utility refunds have been denied since 2009.
“It is well past the time that the General Assembly rights this wrongful and totally bewildering practice of denying refunds of improperly collected rates and gives the people of Ohio their money back,” said Rep. Troy.
Troy believes the dollars are sitting in in the coffers of big utility companies as a means to increase stockholder dividends or improve “bottom lines.” He noted that a Supreme Court ruling calls the revenues collected by a utility “unjustified,” but that a refund to address the issue is said to be “equal to retroactive ratemaking, something it is not authorized to do.”
Troy went on to say that it is past time the Ohio General Assembly worked to right this wrong and give the people of Ohio back their money.
HB 260 will have its second hearing (proponent testimony) in the House Public Utilities Committee next Wednesday, May 26.